Summit-backed Integrated DNA weighs sale

  • Ex-U. of Iowa prof formed company in 1987 with Baxter
  • Strategics and sponsors could be contenders
  • Summit invested in genomics-focused biotech in 2014

Integrated DNA Technologies, the rapidly growing life-sciences-tools provider that spun out of the University of Iowa 30-plus years ago, is exploring a potential sale, Buyouts has learned.

The producer of genomics-based products for scientific research has retained Perella Weinberg Partners to advise on a process, sources familiar with the matter said.

While founder-owned Integrated DNA has already created significant buzz in the market, the process remains in its early stages and all options are on the table, they said.

The process is expected to include a mix of strategic buyers and a select group of large sponsors. Strategics could include the likes of Thermo Fisher Scientific, Illumina and Qiagen Life Sciences, sources speculated.

Integrated DNA, which in recent years has maintained a double-digit growth rate in sales and profitability, is projecting almost $100 million of 2018 Ebitda on north of $300 million of revenue, one of the sources said.

Boston growth-equity investor Summit Partners in March 2014 injected a minority investment into Integrated DNA, leaving Founder and CEO Joseph Walder with a majority stake. Perella Weinberg advised Integrated DNA on the deal.

Walder, a physician and former biochemistry professor at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, formed the company in partnership with Baxter Healthcare in 1987.

The company describes itself as the world’s largest maker of custom nucleic acid — or DNA — products, supporting academic and commercial research, agriculture, medical diagnostics and pharmaceutical development.

Its customers range from individual researchers to small university labs to global pharmaceutical companies.

Integrated DNA’s proprietary genomics-based technologies are used in diagnostic tests for cancer, as well as genetic and infectious diseases.

The company’s manufacturing headquarters remain rooted in Coralville, an Iowa City, Iowa, suburb, with additional manufacturing facilities in California, Belgium and Singapore. The corporate headquarters are in Skokie, Illinois.

In its 2016-2017 Sustainability Report, Integrated DNA said it surpassed 1,000 employees across 13 countries in 2016, with a network of 49 distributors.

Craig Frances of Summit joined Integrated DNA’s board in connection with the firm’s 2014 investment.

Representatives of IDT and Perella Weinberg declined to comment, while those with Summit didn’t return requests for comment.

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