Ecolab to sell global surgical unit for $950 million, lifts 2024 profit forecast

By Thomson Reuters Apr 30, 2024 | 7:29 AM

(Reuters) – Water solutions company Ecolab said on Tuesday it would sell its global surgical solutions business to private medical supplier Medline for $950 million in cash and raised its full-year profit forecast.

The unit made more than $400 million in sales last year and supplies sterile drape solutions for surgeons, patients and operating room equipment.

“This transaction builds on the deliberate actions we’ve taken to lay the foundation to transform our global healthcare business into a high-quality Ecolab business,” said Ecolab CEO Christophe Beck.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of the year.

Ecolab also said it would continue to serve hospitals through its infection prevention and instrument reprocessing businesses, which provide environmental hygiene programs and cleaning and sterilization solutions for instruments.

The St. Paul, Minnesota-based firm also raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast to between $6.40 and $6.70 per share, from its earlier estimate $6.10 to $6.50.

The forecast assumes soft but stable macroeconomic demand and delivered product costs easing through the third quarter, though the impact of global inflation remains hard to predict, the company said.

For the second quarter, Ecolab expects adjusted profit between $1.62 and $1.72 per share, higher than analysts’ average estimate of $1.54 per share, according to LSEG data.

It posted an adjusted profit of $1.34 per share for the first quarter, in line with estimates, as the institutional and specialty segment’s operating income grew 91%.

(Reporting by Kabir Dweit in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)