A British company which decontaminates hospitals and research labs is to be sold to US hygiene giant Ecolab in a deal worth almost £141 million.
Hampshire-based Bioquell, which is almost 100 years old, has accepted an offer of 590p per share for the company.
Ecolab is a leading provider of water, hygiene and energy technologies and services. It is currently valued at more than 40 billion US dollars (£31.3 billion) and is part of the S&P 500 index.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates owns around 12% of the company after snapping up more stock in March.
The acquisition of Bioquell marks the latest in a string of takeovers by Ecolab under chief executive Doug Baker.
Elizabeth Simermeyer, executive vice president for life sciences at Ecolab, said: “With Bioquell’s suite of solutions and services, Ecolab will offer one of the most comprehensive portfolios of cleaning and decontamination solutions for pharmaceutical and healthcare environments.”
Bioquell, first incorporated in 1925, provides specialist hydrogen peroxide vapour bio-decontamination equipment, modular isolators and associated services for the life sciences and healthcare sectors.
Last year it made £3.3 million in pre-tax profits on revenues of £29.2 million.
Bioquell executive chairman Ian Johnson said: “As part of Ecolab, Bioquell will be able to drive faster strategic growth in both life sciences and healthcare markets, leveraging Ecolab’s extensive global footprint.”