• Ionisos 500X367

    Social infrastructure


    Ionisos is a leading owner and operator of cold sterilisation facilities servicing the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Established in 1993 in France, Ionisos is one of the largest cold sterilisation providers globally and operates a network of 11 facilities in Europe with market leading positions in France and Spain. It has over 250 employees and a highly diversified customer base of around 1,000 customers.

    Ionisos delivers a mission-critical, non-discretionary service for customers, for whom cold sterilisation is an essential component of the manufacturing process. It is typically applied to single use products that would be damaged by the heat and/or humidity of hot sterilisation methods.

    Recent developments

    Ionisos performed below expectations due to reduced bio-processing and labware volumes, which have returned to pre-Covid levels, and weaker demand in markets connected to the construction industry which represents a small share of treatment capacity. However, the majority of product categories sterilised by Ionisos continue to exhibit strong volume growth. Ionisos is making progress in its growth initiatives. The expansion of its new greenfield EO plant in Kleve, Germany is progressing and the development of the new X-ray greenfield facility in north east France is proceeding according to schedule and within budget.

    Investment rationale

    3i Infrastructure acquired Ionisos in September 2019, having committed to invest in July 2019.

    • Diversification of 3i Infrastructure’s sector exposure and increased presence in the French market
    • Sound market fundamentals with non-cyclical drivers, including an ageing population in Western Europe
    • Growing demand for healthcare services increasingly relying on single use medical equipment
    • Increasingly stringent regulation governing the sterilisation of medical, pharmaceutical and cosmetics products
    • High barriers to entry
    • Platform potential with growth opportunities organically and through M&A


    Ionisos supports public health by providing sterilisation of medical devices, ensuring that single use products are safe for medical use. Ionisos was one of the first two companies in the 3i Infrastructure portfolio to set an SBT (science-based emissions reduction target) through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). This was achieved via the SME pathway which requires a 42% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions to 2030 from a 2021 baseline, and a requirement to measure and reduce Scope 3 emissions. Ionisos plans to achieve this by improving electricity sourcing (e.g. from renewables), and reducing natural gas consumption on EO sites.