Steris Acquires Synergy for $1.9 Billion

November 6, 2015

Steris completed its $1.9 billion acquisition of UK-based Synergy Health on Nov. 2, following the Federal Trade Commission’s decision to not continue challenging the merger.

The acquisition will allow Ohio-based Steris to grow internationally in terms of providing infection prevention and sterilization services to devicemakers and other industries, says Walt Rosebrough, the company’s president and CEO.

The deal was delayed by federal court and administrative complaints, both filed by the FTC, alleging the acquisition would violate antitrust laws by eliminating future competition between Steris’s gamma sterilization facilities and Synergy’s planned X-ray sterilization facilities in the U.S.

After the commission began investigating the merger, Synergy and Steris abandoned plans to bring X-ray sterilization to the U.S., saying it was not a sound financial strategy.

The FTC announced Oct. 30 it still has competitive concerns about the acquisition, but decided to formally dismiss its administrative complaint. The commission said it would be difficult to meaningfully address the merger, due to the federal court’s refusal to issue a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to halt the acquisition.

Judge Dan Polster in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio indicated in his Sept. 24 order that he thought the X-ray sterilization process wasn’t ready for the U.S. market. On Oct. 1, the FTC announced it would not appeal the district court’s decision (IDDM, Oct. 2). — Jonathon Shacat