Radnor-based Avantor files for IPO. #avantor #vwr

Tom Paine

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Radnor-based Avantor, a chemical producer and distributor patched together through acquisitions, filed an S-1 registration statement for an IPO today . Avantor is a portfolio company of PE firm New Mountain Capital, and its executive chairman is former Rohm & Haas CEO Rajiv L. Gupta. Gupta, now Senior Advisor to New Mountain, also served as interim CEO of Avantor.

New Mountain acquired specialty chemical maker Mallinckrodt Baker, based in the Lehigh Valley, in 2010, and that became the original basis of Avantor.

Then, in November 2017, Avantor acquired Radnor-based VWR, a distributor of chemical and scientific supplies for Life Sciences amd other segments, for $6.5 billion. That business far outweighed the former Mallinckrodt business in size and scope. It also left Avantor with an enormous long-term debt load of $7.2 billion. IPO proceeds, which Avantor has bookmarked on the S-! as $100 million but could be as high as $1.5 billion, will be used primarily to reduce New Mountain's debt obligations.

But VWR is an exciting business, with an industrial ecommerce model that can be a market leader. Its a consolidation play on the small batch specialty chemical and supplies market.

I haven't had enough time to digest numbers and analysis yet, but wanted to get this out first.