Salt Lake City's Nelson Labs Acquired by Illinois-Based Medical Technology Company

SALT LAKE CITY — A local medical technology company is expanding its reach around the world.

Salt Lake City-based Nelson Laboratories Inc. announced Monday that the privately held company was acquired by Sterigenics International LLC, a global provider of contract sterilization, gamma technologies and medical isotopes. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Established in 1985, Nelson Labs is the largest domestic provider of life cycle microbiology testing services for the medical devices, pharmaceutical and tissue industries.

"Anything that goes in you, on you or around you in a health care setting, we test those products," explained marketing director Paul Huish. "If (a provider) receives a medical device that's had clearance from the (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), before it goes to the FDA we've tested it to make sure that it is either sterile or can be made clean or sterile before it is used."

The company employs about 570 people and operates 85 labs at five corporate buildings in Salt Lake City, Huish said. The firm provides services for more than 3,000 client companies in 57 countries around the globe.

All Nelson Labs operations will remain in Salt Lake City and merge with Sterigenics’ existing microbiological and analytical testing and consultancy — SteriPro Labs, Huish said. The combined entities will go to market under the Nelson Labs brand name and operate as a stand-alone business unit within Sterigenics International, he added.

Nelson Labs President Jeffery Nelson will serve in the same capacity of the newly formed entity, with the Sterigenics contract sterilization business creating the world's largest fully integrated global sterilization and lab services firm, company officials said.

“This is a significant strategic acquisition to help build out Sterigenics’ lab testing and service capabilities on a global scale, enabling us to better serve our multinational customers,” said Michael Mulhern, chief executive officer of Sterigenics International. “We will continue to explore additional expansion opportunities for our lab services to meet our customers’ growing needs.”

Huish said the acquisition will "give us more of a footprint worldwide."

"Where we currently have the one lab here in Salt Lake City. We now just picked up nine more labs across the world," he said.

The broadened reach will allow the company to implement many of its highest sterility standards in other laboratories in countries around the world, improving public health on a greater scale, Huish said. The larger footprint also increases efficiency, allowing quicker release of products to the public, he added.

"Normally they would have to send them to us here in Salt Lake, but now they won't have to do that," he said.

Meanwhile, the integrated companies will likely keep the same number of employees at each facility, Huish noted.

"The medical device manufacturers that we work with will still continue to send their products to us the same as they always have," he said. "(The acquisition) doesn't impact our employment here at all. We're going strong and have great hopes for the future."


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Deseret News Mon, 04/04/2016 - 17:10