Deal for contract testing services provider is expected to close later in first quarter.

BioReliance Holdings, a provider of global biopharmaceutical contract testing services, has been sold by its majority owner Avista Capital Partners to Sigma-Aldrich for $350 million in cash. The acquisition, subject to regulatory approval and other conditions, is expected to close later in the first quarter of 2012.

Avista, a private equity firm, acquired BioReliance in 2007 for about $210 million. 

“The acquisition of BioReliance by Sigma-Aldrich creates one of the broadest product and service offerings for the development and manufacture of biological drugs. In addition, BioReliance’s Specialized Toxicology and Animal Health Services segments are complementary to other Sigma-Aldrich product and technology areas,” says BioReliance president and CEO Charles Harwood.

BioReliance offers more than 1,000 tests or services related to biologic testing, specialized toxicology, and animal health services. Founded in 1947 as Microbiological Associates, BioReliance is headquartered in Rockville, MD, with laboratory operations in Rockville and Scotland, and offices in Bangalore, India, and Tokyo. BioReliance employs more than 650 people worldwide.

J.P. Morgan Securities acted as financial advisor and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP served as legal advisor to BioReliance in the sale to Sigma-Aldrich.

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