GTCR completes Cole-Parmer acquisition

GTCR said Monday that it has closed its buy of Cole-Parmer from Thermo Fisher. No financial terms were disclosed; however, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs provided financing for the deal. Headquartered in Vernon Hills, Illinois, Cole-Parmer is a maker of specialty laboratory equipment, instruments and supplies.


CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–GTCR, a leading private equity firm, today announced that it has completed the previously announced acquisition of Cole-Parmer Instrument Company (“Cole-Parmer” or the “Business”) from Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE:TMO) (“Thermo Fisher”). Cole-Parmer, headquartered in Vernon Hills, Illinois, is a leading global manufacturer and distributor of specialty laboratory equipment, instruments and supplies to a diverse range of customers in pharmaceutical, biotech, healthcare, chemicals, food and other research-based or regulated markets. GTCR is partnering with life science industry veteran Bernd Brust to carve-out the business from Thermo Fisher and position the Business for future growth.

Founded in 1955, Cole-Parmer offers a portfolio of industry-leading proprietary brands and private-label products in niche applications to fulfill important needs in the laboratory market. The business has deep technical expertise across a range of specialty products in the field of fluid handling, test & measurement, electrochemistry and other laboratory products. Cole-Parmer sells its broad portfolio of products to a diverse, global customer base.

The investment is a result of GTCR’s proactive efforts with Mr. Brust targeting the medical and laboratory product industries. Mr. Brust, former CEO of Qualicaps and, previously, Chief Commercial Operations Officer of Life Technologies Corporation (acquired by Thermo Fisher in 2014), will become the CEO of the Business as a part of the transaction. Mr. Brust has an extensive track record of success within the healthcare and life sciences industry.

“We are delighted to partner with Bernd Brust as part of GTCR’s Leaders StrategyTM to acquire Cole-Parmer and carve the Business out of Thermo Fisher,” said Dean Mihas, Managing Director at GTCR. “We believe Cole-Parmer’s strong reputation, management team and portfolio of leading brands provides a unique position within the diverse end-markets it serves. We look forward to partnering with Bernd and investing behind his vision of building a leading company within the lab supply industry.”

“I am excited to partner with GTCR on this opportunity,” stated Mr. Brust. “Cole-Parmer represents a compelling platform that is well-known within the scientific research and life sciences communities. I look forward to working with the existing Cole-Parmer management team to grow the Business through product development and acquisitions to extend its leadership position.”

Sean Cunningham, Managing Director at GTCR, added: “We are excited to work with Bernd as we look to grow the Business organically and through acquisitions. The transaction highlights GTCR’s extensive experience in corporate carve-outs, and demonstrates our continued enthusiasm for investing in companies that serve the broader lab and life sciences industry.”

GTCR’s investment in Cole-Parmer was funded from GTCR Fund XI, a private equity fund raised in 2014 with $3.85 billion of limited partner equity capital commitments. Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs provided financing for the transaction. Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel to GTCR.

About GTCR
Founded in 1980, GTCR is a leading private equity firm focused on investing in growth companies in the Financial Services & Technology, Healthcare and Information Services & Technology industries. The Chicago-based firm pioneered The Leaders Strategy™ – finding and partnering with management leaders in core domains to identify, acquire and build market-leading companies through transformational acquisitions and organic growth. Since its inception, GTCR has invested more than $10 billion in over 200 companies. For more information, please visit

About Cole-Parmer Instrument Company
Cole-Parmer has been a leading global source of laboratory and industrial fluid handling products, instrumentation, equipment, and supplies since 1955. Cole-Parmer’s product lines, including popular brand names such as Masterflex®, Oakton®, Digi-Sense™, and more, are sold through company-owned customer channel outlets and a strong network of international dealers. The Business also features an ISO17025-accredited metrology lab for instrument calibration and repair. Cole-Parmer responds with excellence to customer needs, and offers application expertise and technical support.