Pall Corp. plans to buy the medical plastics business of Bayer Corp.'s Pharmaceutical Division. Pall will pay about $41 million for the assets, which include Bayer's Covina, Calif., plant and equipment to make a proprietary line of disposable plastic bags used for blood and plasma collection and storage. The firms have been working out the details of the deal for some time, and expect it to close within six months, according to Pall President Jeremy Hayward-Surry.
Since 1990 Bayer and Pall have collaborated on the Leukotrap system, which uses Bayer's blood bags and Pall's filters.
The filters remove leukocytes, which carry viruses in the blood, and ``are designed to get the job done at the blood bank and not at bedside,'' Hayward-Surry said in a telephone interview from Pall's Long Island, N.Y., headquarters.
He called the operation - which reported about $40 million in sales - ``a very small part of Bayer ... a little pinprick.'' Now that it is in Pall's hands, Bayer will buy the plastic bags from Pall to continue to supply its large network of plasma collection centers, according to Bayer spokesman Daniel McIntyre.
Pall also is the sales representative, in both the United States and Europe, for Bayer products that incorporate Pall filters.
Pall plans to invest in the Covina operation, ensuring state-of-the-art manufacturing to make it more profitable, Hayward-Surry said.
He said blood filters currently make up 20 percent, or $140 million, of Pall's annual sales, which were about $800 million last year.
The public firm produces high-tech, fine filtration systems for many industries, including pharmaceuticals, electronics, industrial, hydraulics and food and beverage. It is traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.
Bayer Corp. is the U.S. subsidiary of Bayer AG, an international chemical and health-care firm based in Leverkusen, Germany. Bayer of Pittsburgh re-corded sales of $7.1 billion in 1994.
Bayer also serves the medical industry through its engineering plastics and urethanes business, part of its Pittsburgh-based Polymers Division, said Mark Witman, vice president of the Plastics Group's Makrolon poly-carbonate business. Its materials are used in the manufacture of medical products, such as blood oxygenators, catheters, surgical instruments and equipment housings.
The plastic product business being sold is part of Bayer's Pharmaceutical Division's Biological Products unit.