Sartorius Stedim Biotech said today it will, through a subsidiary, acquire TAP Biosystems Group in a deal that values the company at about €33 million ($44.8 million) and will expand the buyer’s portfolio of single-use fermentors.

“TAP Biosystems’ fermentors are a great fit, extending our reach into the small-scale cell culture applications,” Joachim Kreuzburg, CEO of Sartorius Stedim Biotech, said in a statement. “Adding capabilities in the early steps of upstream bioprocessing will enable us to provide our biopharma customers highly effective and scalable solutions to accelerate cell-line selection, speed up process development, and ultimately help them bringing their biologics to market faster.”

TAP Biosystems specializes in design and development of small-scale, multi-parallel fermentation systems, particularly for biopharmaceutical applications. Through its ambr® product family of micro bioreactors for cell-line development and process optimization, the company has launched a platform technology for single-use fermentation intended to mimic mammalian cell culture at a small scale—as well as position the company as an alternative to conventional systems.

The company’s portfolio includes automated cell processing systems and other benchtop equipment.

Founded in 1987, TAP Biosystems is headquartered in Royston, U.K., with a sales and support facility near Wilmington, DE. The company employs about 160 people worldwide and generated sales revenue of about €26 million ($35.3 million) in the year that ended June 30.

Sartorius, headquartered in Aubagne, France, finished the first half of this year with a net profit of €32.3 million ($43.9 million), up 8.8% from January–June 2012, on sales revenue that rose 4.5% to €441.3 million ($599.4 million). Sartorius employs about 3,000 people worldwide and last year earned sales revenue of €544 million ($738.8 million).

The deal is expected to close at year’s end subject to customary closing conditions including the approval of TAP Biosystems’ shareholders. The boards of both companies have unanimously approved the transaction.

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