|Industry||Scientific products distributor|
|Products||Chemicals, protective clothing, research equipment, specialized laboratory furniture |
|Services||Laboratory services, clinical and biorepository services, procurement services |
|Revenue||$4.38 Billion (2014) |
Number of employees
|Over 12,000 worldwide|
VWR International is an American company involved in the distribution of research laboratory products, with over 1,200,000 items to more than 250,000 customers in North America and Europe. The U.S. division is headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania. VWR ranked #91 in 2006, and #77 in 2005, in Forbes list of largest American private companies. Suppliers include Applied Scientific, 3B Scientific Duracell, Kimberly-Clark, Bel-Art Products, and Welch Allyn. VWR primarily serves the government, biotechnology, life science, education, electronics and pharmaceutical sectors. In 2010, the company maintained operations in 25 countries and processed approximately 50,000 order lines daily from a logistical network, which includes 25 strategically located distribution centers.
VWR was formed in the late 1920s by George Van Waters and Nat Rogers as a small chemical company. Since then, the company evolved to focus on the laboratory market. It also has a presence in the cleanroom, safety, and clinical markets.
VWR owns a group of companies under the unofficial umbrella "VWR Education." These companies include Science Kit and Boreal Laboratories and Edmund Scientific Corporation. In August 1989, VWR purchased Wards's Science and Sargent-Welch Scientific Company.
In September, 1995, VWR completed their purchase of Baxter's Industrial division, creating a much larger company. The capital was primarily obtained from Merck KGaA, a German chemical manufacturer (known as EMD Chemicals in the U.S. and Canada) who later purchased VWR and merged them with Merck Eurolab, creating a global laboratory distributor. In 2004, VWR became a limited partnership controlled by investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.
In 2007, CD&R sold VWR to another private equity company, Madison Dearborn Partners.
In 2010, VWR moved its world headquarters to Radnor, Pennsylvania.
Controversy has arisen about a 2010 decision by VWR to close its unionized Brisbane, CA distribution center, moving operations to a non-unionized Visalia, CA facility. This facility has now voted in the union for equal pay for equal work. They pay the Material Handlers $10 an hour when the other distribution centers start at a much higher rate. VWR will not allow this facility to be unionized and will not work out a contract.
In April 2017, VWR acquired MESM Ltd., a provider of laboratory and medical equipment and supplies for use in clinical trials worldwide . VWR acquired two other companies earlier in the year, EPL Archives and Seastar Chemicals 
On May 5, 2017, it was announced that Avantor, a Center Valley, Pa.-based supplier of ultra-high-purity materials to the life sciences and advanced technology industries, would acquire VWR for $33.25 in cash per share of VWR common stock, reflecting an enterprise value of approximately $6.4 billion.
On November 21, 2017, Avantor completed its acquisition of VWR.
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