Sulzer buys self-injection pen maker to bolster under-pressure applicators unit

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss oil pumps-to-aerators group Sulzer SUN.S will buy drug delivery device maker Haselmeier for 100 million euros ($118 million) and aims to double its sales over the next five years.

The logo is seen at the plant of Sulzer Mixpac AG of Swiss engineering group Sulzer AG in Haag, Switzerland July 5, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

The deal for privately held Haselmeier, based in Germany and Switzerland, is intended to boost Sulzer’s applicators division, which makes devices including for the beauty sector to apply mascara, for the car industry and for healthcare.

The applicators unit, Sulzer’s smallest, has been hurt by disruptive trends in the beauty segment, in which industry has been forced to meet demands of independent cosmetics companies like those founded by reality star Kim Kardashian seeking off-the-shelf applicators to help launch their products faster.

With the purchase of Haselmeier, applicators head Girts Cimermans is seeking to build up the health care portion of the unit. He said Sulzer aims to about double Haselmeier’s sales to 70 million euros annually within five years, from 36 million euros in 2019.

Haselmeier, a 100-year-old company which makes self-injection pens for reproductive health, growth disorders, osteoporosis and diabetes, employs 230 people, Sulzer said on Monday.

Customers of Haselmeier include Merck KGaA MRCG.DE and Eli Lilly LLY.N.

Sulzer is actively looking to acquire more health care-related businesses to bolster the applicators unit, Cimermans added. The division had been facing headwinds before the COVID-19 pandemic, with sales shrinking 7% in 2019 to 425 million Swiss francs ($466 million).

In the first half of 2020, it saw an abrupt drop in order intake of 27.3% and a sales decline of 21%, as beauty outlets and dental practices were forced to close amid the pandemic.

The transaction is expected to close on Oct. 1. Swiss bank UBS UBSG.S advised Haselmeier on the deal.

($1 = 0.8481 euros)

($1 = 0.9119 Swiss francs)

Reporting by John Miller and Oliver Hirt; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and David Holmes