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Sartorius Sells Hydrodynamic Bearings Business to the British Smiths Group

GOETTINGEN, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct 15, 2007 - Today, Sartorius AG (FWB:SRT) signed an agreement with the British technology group Smiths (LSE:SMIN) to sell German-based Sartorius Bearing Technology GmbH to this Group. According to the agreement, the Smiths Group will retroactively purchase all of the shares in the hydrodynamic bearing company effective September 1, 2007, subject to usual approval procedures, such as antitrust clearance. The purchase price is approximately 20 million euros. Sartorius Bearing Technology GmbH is to be integrated into the John Crane business of Smiths, which focuses on the design and manufacture of seals. John Crane will take on all Sartorius Bearing Technology employees numbering around 100 persons at the Goettingen location. The transaction is expected to be closed within approximately the next six weeks.

"We carefully weighed all options for the future and ultimately chose the best prospects for employees, customers and shareholders," said Sartorius Executive Board Chairman and CEO Dr. Joachim Kreuzburg about the transaction. "Our successful hydrodynamic bearings business will be optimally promoted in John Crane and will gain the opportunity to rapidly take the necessary steps for globalization. This would not have been possible in this way for the business as a rather marginal activity at Sartorius." As Kreuzburg said further, in defining its portfolio, the Sartorius Group will continue to focus on its two core areas of activity, biotechnology and mechatronics, as well as on its major groups of customers, the biopharmaceutical, chemical and food industries. In both areas, the Group is on track to accelerate sustainable growth. He referred in this context to the acquisitions of Omnimark, Toha Plast and Stedim Biosystems the Sartorius Group recently made, the expansion of R&D, the substantial extension of the plant facility in China as well as to the numerous new R&D and sales and distribution alliances.

For the financial year 2007, Sartorius Bearing Technology GmbH expects to achieve sales revenue of a good 15 million euros along with a double-digit EBIT margin. Hydrodynamic bearings are used by customers from the energy sector and plant and system engineering field predominantly in high-speed applications, such as turbines, compressors and industrial pumps. The company's manufacturing operations for hydrodynamic bearings are based exclusively in Goettingen, Germany. So far, its business has been primarily in Germany and Western Europe. Sartorius spun off its hydrodynamic bearings business in 2005 as a separate company (GmbH). In 2006, the expanding business relocated to an independent facility.

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The production facility of Sartorius Bearing Technology GmbH in Goettingen: oduction.jpg

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Hydrodynamic bearings for use in turbomachine engineering: oduct.jpg

Dr. Joachim Kreuzburg, Sartorius CEO and Executive Board Chairman:

This press release contains statements about the future development of the Sartorius Group. We cannot guarantee that the content of these statements will actually apply because these statements are based upon assumptions and estimates that harbor certain risks and uncertainties.

This is a translation of the original German-language press release. Sartorius shall not assume any liability for the correctness of this translation. The original German press release is the legally binding version. Furthermore, Sartorius reserves the right not to be responsible for the topicality, correctness, completeness or quality of the information provided. Liability claims regarding damage caused by the use of any information provided, including any kind of information which is incomplete or incorrect, will therefore be rejected.

A profile of Sartorius

The Sartorius Group is an internationally leading laboratory and process technology provider covering the segments of biotechnology and mechatronics. In 2006, the technology group earned sales revenue of 521.1 million euros. The Goettingen-based company founded in 1870 currently employs approximately 4,500 persons. Its biotechnology segment covers majors areas of focus on fermentation, filtration, purification, fluid management and laboratory applications. For the mechatronics segment in particular, the company manufactures equipment and systems featuring weighing, measurement and automation technology for laboratory and industrial applications, as well as hydrodynamic bearings. Key Sartorius customers are from the pharmaceutical, chemical and food and beverage industries and from numerous research and educational institutes of the public sector. Sartorius has its own production facilities in Europe, Asia and America as well as sales subsidiaries and local commercial agencies in more than 110 countries. For more information visit

A profile of Smiths Group

Smiths is a global technology company listed on the London Stock Exchange. A world leader in the practical application of advanced technologies, Smiths Group delivers products and services for the threat & contraband detection, medical devices, energy and communications markets worldwide. Our products and services make the world safer, healthier and more productive. Smiths Group employs more than 20,000 people in over 50 countries. For more information visit

A profile of John Crane

John Crane, a Smiths Group business, designs and manufactures seals and associated products mainly for the oil & gas, chemical, pharmaceutical, pulp & paper and mining sectors. Since being established over 80 years ago John Crane has become a leader in its field. John Crane's products are a globally recognised and trusted brand by the oil and gas industry. The John Crane business has 20 manufacturing sites around the world and more than 6,000 employees. For further information visit


Sartorius AG
Petra Kirchhoff; Vice President of Communications
Tel: +49(0)551/ 308-1686
Fax: +49(0)551/ 308-3410
Mobile: +49(0)172/56 03281

Posted: October 2007