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UPS buys medical products company Bomi

Sarah Pringle
Aug 8, 2022
Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

United Parcel Service has agreed to acquire Bomi Group, an Italian-based distributor of medical products.

Why it matters: COVID-19 highlighted the importance of reliable and efficient medical products distribution. Bomi plays in a large and growing area of the market increasingly in focus: temperature-controlled transport.

  • Pharmaceutical and biologic therapies rely on cold-chain systems that monitor temperature and extend shelf life during transport.

Details: Via Bomi, UPS gains temperature-controlled facilities in 14 countries, inheriting a fleet of more than 350 temperature-controlled vehicles and four million square feet.

  • Bomi facilitates delivery of pharmaceuticals and medtech supplies to hospitals, clinics, labs, pharmacies and patients in the home.
  • The company employs 3,000 and serves over 150 multinational customers worldwide.
  • Financial terms were not disclosed. J.P. Morgan Securities advised UPS.

Context: UPS Healthcare has already doubled its global footprint since 2020 to meet heightened demand, a news release says.

  • The division has newly constructed health care facilities in Germany and Australia, and expanded footprints in Hungary and the Netherlands.
  • It recently bolstered its technology-driven tracking service UPS Premier to improve logistics quality.

State of play: Bomi was taken out by a global logistics strategic, but many private equity investors are also building out players in the business of temperature-controlled transport.

  • In June, EQT and Mubadala bought Envirotainer — a global leader in active cold chain technologies for air transport of pharmaceuticals — in a $3 billion deal.
  • CSafe Global, backed by Thomas H. Lee and Frazier Healthcare Partners, in December bought Softbox Systems, which produces passive temperature-controlled packaging systems.
  • Global packaging company Sonoco also plays in the passive cold-chain logistics arena through its ThermoSafe unit.

Yes, and: Investors are putting their money behind health care's infrastructure in other ways, too.

  • Medline, a distribution behemoth of low-complexity products to hospitals like scrubs or sterilized trays — last year commanded a $34 billion enterprise value with its leveraged buyout by Hellman & Friedman, Carlyle and Blackstone.
  • Bain Capital shortly after bought PartSource, which can be likened to an 'Amazon of health care" from a B2B perspective, in a deal valued at $1.25 billion, sources told Sarah then.
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