GTCR and Golden Gate Capital Announce Recapitalization of Cole-Parmer Instrument Company

GTCR and Golden Gate Capital announced today that they have signed a definitive agreement to recapitalize Cole-Parmer Instrument Company (“Cole-Parmer”, or the “Company”) alongside CEO Bernd Brust and the Cole-Parmer management team. As part of the transaction, GTCR will acquire a majority stake in Cole-Parmer, while Golden Gate Capital and management will retain a significant minority stake in the business. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1955, Cole-Parmer is a leading global manufacturer of peristaltic, temperature monitoring, and environmental precision equipment and related consumables used in both research and production applications for a diverse range of customers across the life sciences, healthcare, environmental and industrial end-markets.

GTCR initially acquired Cole-Parmer from Thermo Fisher Scientific in 2014. In executing its Leaders Strategy™, GTCR partnered with Mr. Brust to evaluate opportunities in the life sciences industry, ultimately leading to the acquisition of the Company. Following the successful carve out from Thermo Fisher, Cole-Parmer made significant investments in its products and commercial infrastructure to drive organic growth and completed several strategic add-on acquisitions to improve the Company’s proprietary product mix, scale and geographic footprint.

Since GTCR’s sale to Golden Gate Capital in 2017, Cole-Parmer has evolved into a larger, higher-growth business with an expanded presence supplying pharmaceutical and biotechnology customers with mission-critical solutions. Under Golden Gate Capital’s ownership, Cole-Parmer has completed multiple strategic acquisitions that have expanded its product portfolio, global operations, and exposure to secularly-growing end-markets. The Company has also made significant investments in its cloud-based technology infrastructure, catalyzing faster and more efficient workflows for its customers.

GTCR and Golden Gate Capital will partner with Mr. Brust and the Cole-Parmer management team to grow the business through organic growth initiatives and continued strategic M&A in the fragmented life sciences and laboratory products sectors. Cole-Parmer will continue to be led by its current senior management team and will remain headquartered in Vernon Hills, IL.

Bernd Brust, CEO of Cole-Parmer, said: “We are grateful to Jim Rauh and the Golden Gate Capital team for their collaboration, and are very proud of the strategic and operational progress we have made. Together, we have been able to execute on numerous growth initiatives, including a deepened focus on product innovation, establishing us at the forefront of our industry. We are delighted to be renewing our successful partnership with GTCR and look forward to working with both firms, who share our vision and commitment to continuing Cole-Parmer’s evolution into a diversified products company focused on the life sciences, healthcare and environmental end-markets.”

Sean Cunningham, a Managing Director at GTCR, added: “This represents another excellent example of GTCR executing The Leaders Strategy™. We are thrilled to partner with Bernd and the management team a second time. Cole-Parmer has continued its shift to become a life sciences-focused products business. We look forward to partnering with Golden Gate Capital to support the company’s growth going forward.”

Jim Rauh, a Managing Director at Golden Gate Capital, said: “We have enjoyed a very successful partnership with Bernd and the Cole-Parmer team over the last few years. We are proud to have helped Cole-Parmer continue to develop into a premier life-sciences platform and become the acquirer of choice in a fragmented market. We look forward to supporting Cole-Parmer’s continued growth alongside the Company’s management team and GTCR.”

Dean Mihas, a Managing Director at GTCR, added: “Bernd and the entire Cole-Parmer team have done an exceptional job transforming the business since the carve out from Thermo Fisher. They have a track record of success and we are excited to once again partner with them to invest in the long-term growth of the Company.”

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Jefferies LLC served as financial advisor to the Company. Latham & Watkins provided legal counsel to GTCR. Baird served as financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis and Nob Hill Law Group P.C. provided legal counsel to Golden Gate Capital.

About Cole-Parmer

Founded in 1955, Cole-Parmer is a leading global source of fluid handling, test & measurement, environmental and biosciences instrumentation and associated consumables. We are proven experts in the fields of peristaltic technologies, temperature measurement and control, electrochemistry, water & air testing and chromatography. Cole-Parmer’s portfolio of unique industry-leading brands includes Masterflex®, Environmental Express™ and Traceable®. Cole-Parmer’s products are used in both research and production applications for a diverse range of customers across the life sciences, healthcare, environmental, and industrial end-markets. For more information, please visit

About GTCR

Founded in 1980, GTCR is a leading private equity firm focused on investing in growth companies in the Growth Business Services, Technology, Media & Telecommunications, Healthcare and Financial Services & Technology industries. The Chicago-based firm pioneered The Leaders Strategy™ – finding and partnering with management leaders in core domains to identify, acquire and build market-leading companies through transformational acquisitions and organic growth. Since its inception, GTCR has invested more than $15 billion in over 200 companies. For more information, please visit

About Golden Gate

Golden Gate Capital is a San Francisco-based private equity investment firm with over $15 billion of committed capital. The principals of Golden Gate Capital have a long and successful history of investing across a wide range of industries and transaction types, including going-privates, corporate divestitures, and recapitalizations, as well as debt and public equity investments. Notable investments sponsored by Golden Gate Capital include Active Minerals, U.S. Silica, EP Minerals, ANGUS and Vantage Elevator Solutions. For more information, visit

Media Contacts

Kellie Kennedy

For Golden Gate Capital:
Sard Verbinnen & Co
Jenny Gore / David Isaacs
312-895-4700 / 415-618-8750

For Cole-Parmer:
Mina Canning