US-based hygiene company Ecolab has agreed to acquire separation and purification solutions provider Purolite in an all-cash transaction valued at around $3.7bn.

Purolite is engaged in providing high-end ion exchange resins for the separation and purification of solutions used in biopharma and life science industries.

The transaction combines Purolite’s resin technology with Ecolab’s capabilities in clean and safe processing, to offer a safe, healthy and effective end-product.

Ecolab will benefit from Purolite’s unique jetted agarose resin beads, which are used in the purification of mRNA vaccines and monoclonal antibodies for cancer drugs.

The acquisition is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory clearance and other customary closing conditions.

Upon closing, Purolite will operate as a separate global entity, with its overall results reported under Ecolab’s Life Sciences division.

Purolite chief executive officer Steve Brodie said: “Over the last 40 years, with the support and contribution of our loyal, highly skilled workforce, we have built our company into a dynamic force within the industries and for the clients we serve.

“We are truly grateful to our employees and management team for supporting our vision and entrepreneurial spirit. My family and I are very confident that Ecolab can carry on these traditions.

“We are confident that Purolite will be in good hands and that our goals for high growth, innovation and quality will continue under Ecolab’s stewardship.”

Ecolab intends to fund the transaction using around $800m cash from its balance sheet, and the remaining from a low-cost debt. It expects tax benefits estimated at around $300m.

Purolite offers purification and separation solutions for microelectronics, nuclear power and food and beverage industry markets.

The acquisition is expected to increase Ecolab’s capabilities in polishing microelectronics, purification of water in nuclear power, enhancing food and beverage quality, and extraction of precious metals.

JP Morgan Securities served as an exclusive financial advisor to Ecolab, and Baker McKenzie as legal counsel on the transaction.

Ecolab president and chief executive officer Christophe Beck said: “The acquisition is expected to add a strong and global growth platform for Ecolab with double-digit growth prospects in both life sciences and industrial markets.

“The new growth platform will provide high-end purification solutions for improved quality and safety of life-saving drugs, high-quality foods and ultra-pure water for high tech industries.

“It also provides new solutions to further improve our water re-use and re-cycling offerings as well as innovative solutions to improve our environmental programmes for customers, such as PFAS remediation.”