Condom firm Ansell agrees £57m deal to acquire Newmarket-based Nitritex

From left, Duncan Walker of Greenwoods, Derek Watts of Nitritex and Lake Falconer of PEM Corporate

From left, Duncan Walker of Greenwoods, Derek Watts of Nitritex and Lake Falconer of PEM Corporate Finance. - Credit: Archant

Suffolk-based cleanroom and healthcare consumables manufacturer Nitritex has been acquired by the Australian group Ansell in a deal valued at £57m.

Nitritex, which has its head office in Oaks Drive, Newmarket, and a manufacturing facility in Malaysia, is the company behind the BioClean brand of disposable products, including gloves, face masks and goggles, which are widely used in industrial laboratories and hospitals.

Ansell is a global supplier of protection solutions for a range of industries, including automotive, chemicals, oil and gas, mining, food processing and life sciences, and also includes a sexual wellness unit which manufactures and markets 18 brands of condoms and other personal products.

The group said the acquisition of Nitritex represented an opportunity to accelerate its growth in the life sciences segment, with the UK-based firm supplying customers in more than 80 countries following double-digit growth in revenues and earnings in recent years.

Magnus Nicolin, chief executive at Ansell, said: 'As a high-growth, high-margin vertical, life sciences is a strategically important business to Ansell.

'The acquisition of Nitritex offers Ansell a unique opportunity to accelerate growth in this segment by expanding our expertise and product range to better meet the needs of our life sciences customers.'

Derek Watts, managing director of Nitritex, said: 'I am delighted that Nitritex has become part of Ansell. The company has been enjoying very strong and sustained growth, and Ansell is an ideal partner to support the further development of the company worldwide.'

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The transaction, which involved £12m of cash, has been funded by Ansell out of existing facilities. The vendors were advised throughout the sale process by Cambridge-based PEM Corporate Finance.

Lake Falconer, corporate finance partner at PEM, said: 'We have worked towards this transaction with Derek over a number of years and I'm delighted that his plans have come to fruition. Ansell is the perfect example of a strategic buyer and its international reach will fuel the continued growth of the company.'

Legal advice was provided to the vendors by Greenwoods Solicitors, which has offices in Cambridge, Peterborough and London, with the team led by Duncan Walker.

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