Allentown, a portfolio company of Aterian Investment Partners, has acquired Northwestern Systems Corporation (DBA BetterBuilt). The buy of BetterBuilt is the first add-on acquisition for Allentown since being acquired by Aterian in April 2022 from Heartwood Partners.
Allentown is a provider of lab equipment used in the life sciences sector. The company’s products include reusable and single-use housing equipment for rodents, primates, rabbits, guinea pigs and poultry; biological safety cabinets; cabinet washing and sterilization; and monitoring and animal census systems.
Allentown’s customers include academic research institutions, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, private laboratories, governmental research institutions, and contract research organizations. The company, led by CEO John Coiro, was founded in 1968 by the Coiro family and is headquartered in Allentown, New Jersey.
BetterBuilt is a manufacturer and installer of vivarium washing systems and products used in life sciences, laboratory research, and healthcare applications. Vivarium washing systems are used in research institutions, pharmaceutical companies, and other facilities that house laboratory animals, to clean and sanitize cages, racks, and accessories.
These systems – which include a combination of cage and rack washers, bottle and accessory washers, automatic detergent and disinfectant dispensers, water filtration systems, and monitoring and control features – are designed to provide effective cleaning while minimizing the risk of cross-contamination between animals.
BetterBuilt, the largest independent North American vivarium washing equipment manufacturer, is led by President and co-owner Harry Lim and is headquartered near Vancouver in Delta, British Columbia.
“This partnership will continue the vision of BetterBuilt that we have built over many years,” said Mr. Lim. “It is clear that both BetterBuilt and Allentown have continuously developed and refined through the years a strong culture of producing state-of-the-art products for our customers. We are confident we have found the right partner to help us in our next stage of growth.”
“The acquisition of BetterBuilt represents an important milestone for Allentown,” said Brandon Bethea, a co-founder and partner at Aterian. “By adding BetterBuilt’s highly engineered products and the company’s talented team, Allentown offers a more fulsome suite of lab housing, washing and sterilization solutions aimed at solving some of the most difficult aspects of managing a vivarium. We would like to congratulate the BetterBuilt team for building a special business and we couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the opportunity together.”
“We could not be more excited to partner with BetterBuilt and look forward to welcoming the team to the Allentown family,” said Mr. Coiro. “We are strong believers in BetterBuilt’s technology and look forward to working with the team to continue its momentum. With our partnership, Allentown and BetterBuilt will be better positioned to serve our overlapping and complementary customer bases by providing our customers with a one-stop solution to address their vivarium needs.
“Allentown’s partnership with BetterBuilt will expand our addressable market and establish Allentown as a proven acquisition platform as we transform Allentown into a broader solutions provider in the life sciences market,” said Daniel Phan, a managing director at Aterian. “We look forward to working on post-close initiatives across the combined company.”
Aterian invests from $10 million to $100 million in middle market businesses with $50 million to $750 million in revenue and $10 million to $50 million in EBITDA. The firm’s latest fund, Aterian Investment Partners IV LP, closed in October 2021 with $830 million of committed capital. Aterian has offices in New York City and Coral Gables, Florida.
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