Beckman Coulter Buyout Rumored; 3M Possible Suitor

Beckman Coulter, which employs about 750 at its Chaska facility, is reportedly looking at offers from private-equity firms and other companies, including 3M.

Brea, California-based Beckman Coulter-which has a manufacturing facility in Chaska that employs about 750 people-is reportedly looking at buyout offers, according to reports from The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.

The Wall Street Journal reported that several large private-equity firms and companies have expressed interest in Beckman Coulter, which has a market value of about $4 billion. The publication cites “people familiar with the matter,” who said the company could be purchased for more than $5 million.

The company's management is currently making presentations to the potential buyers, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Bloomberg also reported that Beckman Coulter is seeking a buyer and said that Blackstone Group, LP, and Apollo Global Management, LLC, are among the private-equity firms that have approached the company.

In addition to private-equity firms, companies like Maplewood-based 3M Company have expressed interested in Beckman Coulter, according to Bloomberg, which also named Fairfield, Connecticut-based General Electric Company and Washington, D.C.-based Danaher Corporation as potential buyers.

Bloomberg said that the process is in the early stages and any deal would “would likely be months away.”

It is unclear if the company's manufacturing operations-including those in Chaska-would be impacted if a private-equity firm or other company purchased Beckman Coulter.

Monday morning phone calls to representatives at Beckman Coulter and 3M were not immediately returned.

Beckman Coulter was founded in 1935 and develops, manufactures, and markets products that simplify and automate complex biomedical testing, including diagnostic systems and life science research instruments.

In 2009, the company reported revenue of $3.3 billion, a 5.2 percent increase from $3.1 billion in 2008. Last month, the company reported an 8.6 percent increase in revenue for the third quarter, which ended in September.