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HeiQ’s Acquisition Expands Bio-Based Antimicrobials

HeiQ has acquired Life, extending its penetration into the bio-based antimicrobial market.

Life is a materials technology company that has developed a portfolio of smart ingredients and formulations with applications in numerous industries. This includes textiles, plastics, coatings, ceramics and paper that inhibit or manage bacteria, fungi, algae and other micro-organisms that come in contact with treated materials.

The acquisition is in line with HeiQ’s strategy to increase its presence in the bio-based antimicrobial and healthcare surface hygiene market, and to further diversify and innovate its product range and capabilities with a view to becoming a global leader in materials innovation.

“We are delighted to gain exposure to Life’s technology platform of complementary, strongly bio-based and highly effective antimicrobial technologies,” HeiQ co-founder and CEO Carlo Centonze said. “Our recent partnerships have demonstrated the appetite for our antimicrobials and especially HeiQ Viroblock in industries outside of textiles. The level of sustained interest we have seen from B2B, B2C and B2B2C brands fills us with confidence that antimicrobial technology is becoming mainstream for all materials that we touch in our daily lives. Therefore, this acquisition, which is led by a talented and entrepreneurial founder, strengthens the gains we have already made in the antimicrobial space.”

Life’s 40-plus products strengthen HeiQ’s global product offering and will facilitate its existing technology platforms into new markets, especially masterbatches, plastics and coatings. Top manufacturers and brands, such as Dupont, American Standard, Igloo Products, Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Columbia Sportswear use Life’s antimicrobial additives.

Through Life, HeiQ will also have access to hygiene technologies, such as odor absorbent additives, that complement the company’s core antimicrobial technology.

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“With the HeiQ Viroblock technology, HeiQ has established a market-leading position for antimicrobial textiles, and we at Life will help HeiQ extend this market leadership position into polymers, coatings and other materials,” Tom E. S. Ellefsen, founder and CEO of LIFE, said. “Both HeiQ and Life are oriented around innovation and technology, and this is why there is such a strong fit between the two companies. We have already identified multiple opportunities to combine and leverage technologies from both companies to fuel future revenue growth.”

Last month, HeiQ strengthened its antimicrobial ingredients technology platform and expanded its product line to include coating technologies through the acquisition of Ras AG, based in Regensburg, Germany. Ras develops and produces antimicrobial, hygiene-enhancing additives and durable antimicrobial coating systems sold under the trademark Agpure, and transparent electrically conductive and infrared reflective coatings sold under the Ecos trademark.

With the acquisition, Zurich, Switzerland-headquartered HeiQ, with subsidiaries in Australia, China, Portugal, Taiwan and the United States, will now have additional offices and laboratories in Thailand and Brazil. HeiQ has a manufacturing capacity of 35,000 tons per year in its sites in Switzerland, Australia and the U.S.