Sartorius AG

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Sartorius AG
Traded as FWBSRT
Industry Biotechnology and Mechatronics
Founded 1870 in Göttingen
Founder Florenz Sartorius
Headquarters Göttingen, Germany
Area served
Key people
Joachim Kreuzburg (CEO and chairman of the Executive Board), Reinhard Vogt (Member of the Executive Board), Jörg Pfirrmann (Member of the Executive Board)
Number of employees
5,491 (2012)[1]

The Sartorius group is an international laboratory and process technology company, covering the segments of Bioprocess Solutions, Lab Products & Services and Industrial Weighing.

In 2012, the technology group earned sales revenue of 845.7 million euros (2011: 733.1). Founded in 1870, the Göttingen-based company currently employs around 5,500 persons.[1]


Its Bioprocess Solutions segment supplies products for filtration, fluid management, fermentation, cell cultivation and purification, and focuses on production processes in the biopharmaceutical industry. The Lab Products & Services segment primarily manufactures laboratory instruments and consumables. Industrial Weighing concentrates on weighing, monitoring and control applications in the manufacturing processes of the food, chemical and pharma sectors. Sartorius has its own production facilities in Europe, Asia and America as well as sales subsidiaries and local commercial agencies in more than 110 countries. The Sartorius preference share has been traded in the German index of technology stocks TecDAX since June 18, 2012.[2]

Early history[edit]

140 years ago in 1870 Florenz Sartorius (1846–1925) a Göttingen University Mechanician founded the fine precision weighing company called "Feinmechanische Werkstatt F. Sartorius" and began with the production of short-beam analytical balances. The new light weight material aluminum he used to produce these ensured rapid overseas sales.

To allow the use of hydro power the company moved north of Göttingen to Bovenden, the new factory provided work for 60 people. This move coincided with the production of the 3000th scale by the company in 1895. However in 1899 the headquarters of the company was to move once more, this time to a plot near the Weender highway on the northern outskirts of Göttingen.

In 1906, the founder's three sons William (1872–1937), Erich (1876–1947) and Julius (1878–1918) became partners in their father's company. Shortly after in 1911, the company celebrated the construction of its 10,000th analytical balance. In 1914, Florenz and his sons turned the company into a stock corporation to expand its capital base.[3]

During the First World War the company was converted into producing military hardware, and the successful foreign business wings of the company were broken off. After the war ended, the company returned to the proven business of weighing technology; however, it was not until the mid-1930s that the pre-war production figures were once again achieved.

With the start of the Second World War, the company was once again taken over for the purpose of building military hardware, this time for the air force, and for this purpose a new factory was completed in 1941.[3]

Between the wars in 1927, the company under the name Membranfiltergesellschaft m.b.H. began the industrial production of membrane filters, an area of production developed from the Nobel prize winner Richard Zsigmondy and his associate Wilhelm Bachmann. This early phase of production is still the foundation for Sartorius’ bioprocess business which is used in the production of filters today.[3]


In early 1990, Sartorius AG went public; this began the process that allowed for capital to be raised for the acquisition of several companies into the Sartorius group. In 1998, following the capital acquisition, Sartorius bought Boekels, a quality control company in the processing industry and in metal detection. The following year in 1999, three companies were bought: Vivascience which produced products for cell culture technology, protein purification and ultrafiltration; Denver Onstruments which produced laboratory balances and measurement technology; and GWT, the company formerly known as Phillips Waegetechnick, a company that made manufactured high-capacity weighing scales.[4]

A year later, Sartorius acquired the company B. Braun Biotech International, a manufacturer of fermenters, bioreactors and cell cultivation systems.[4]

In 2004, many of these newly acquired companies were rebranded; Boekels became Sartorius Aachen GmbH & Co. KG, GWT became Sartorius Hamburg GmbH, and B. Braun Biotech International was renamed Sartorius BBI Systems GmbH.[4]

In 2005, Sartorius acquired a 100% stake in the application specialist Omnimark Instrument Corporation based in Arizona, USA. In 2007, Sartorius acquired Toha Plast GmbH, a maker of plastics technology for biopharmaceutical disposables. In the same year, Sartorius combined its Biotechnology Division with the French-based biotech supplier Stedim S.A. to enable their joint company Sartorius Stedim Biotech, a technology provider to the biopharmaceutical industry. The new company is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange. In 2008, Sartorius acquired Swiss-based Wave Biotech AG, a supplier of single-use bioreactors.[4]

In 2011 the company acquired the liquid handling segment of Biohit, a Finnish laboratory instrument company.[5] Having paid EUR68M for Biohit’s liquid handling business, in order to gain access to the consumables market, Sartorius failed to reach an agreement with the patent holders and manufacturers of the Biohit Ergo Tube. The range of 0.5ml,1.5ml, and 2.0ml ergonomic microcentrifuge tubes were marketed by Sartorius, but will no longer be on the market.

Global presence[edit]

Sartorius has production and sales subsidiaries 111 countries.[citation needed] In Germany, Sartorius has four main sites in Göttingen, Guxhagen, Aachen and Hamburg. At its sites in Goettingen and Guxhagen, Germany, and in Yauco, Puerto Rico, Sartorius was scheduled to move into new industrial building complexes and to complete its facility upgrades in 2012.[4]

On 18th April 2015 Sartorius Stedim Biotech Group acquired one of the world's leading CROs BioOutsource Ltd.


In 2001 Sartorius receive the "Innovation Award of the German Economy" for its development of the GENIUS analytical balance.[4] Two years later Sartorius competed for and received the "Initiative Prize" for training and continuing education from the Otto Wolf foundation, the German Chamber of Commerce and industry and the German-language weekly financial journal Wochenmagazin.

In 2004, the company received the Frost & Sullivan award for its innovation in product differentiation technology. In 2005 Sartorius won the "Best innovator of 2005" from the category of ‘Time to profit" awarded by the international management consultant A.T.Hearney and German business magazine Wirtschaftswoche.

In 2006 the international consulting company Frost and Sullivan awarded Sartorius the "2006 Growth Strategy Leadership Award".

In 2012, Sartorius won the reddot design award for its new electronic pipette "Picus".[6]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]