3M to Shed Drug Delivery Business

3M to Shed Drug Delivery Business

The company is selling the majority of the business unit to a New York-based investment firm for $650 million.

3M Co. on Thursday confirmed that it has reached an agreement to sell the majority of its drug delivery business to a New York investment firm for $650 million.

The drug delivery unit manufactures asthma inhalers and transdermal patches, among other health care products.

The company’s plan to sell the business unit first leaked late last week. Citing anonymous sources, Bloomberg reported that 3M’s drug delivery business could sell for as much as $1 billion.

3M said it’s selling “substantially all” of its drug delivery business to an affiliate of New York City-based Altaris Capital Partners LLC, which has invested in a slew of medical companies, including St. Paul-based Minnetronix Medical. The sale is aimed at giving 3M the capacity to focus on its “core health care business,” said 3M chairman and CEO Michael Roman.

3M will retain a 17 percent “noncontrolling interest” in the drug delivery business. The transaction is expected to close in 2020’s first half. 3M said about 900 employees will join Altaris once the sale is finished.

3M has bought and sold several business units this year. In August, the company sold its ballistic-protection unit for $91 million. And in June, 3M sold its gas and flame detection business for $230 million. Proceeds from those sales have helped fund much larger transactions, such as 3M’s record $6.7 billion purchase of wound-care company Acelity Inc.