• Ionisos 500X367

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    Ionisos is a leading owner and operator of cold sterilisation facilities servicing the medical, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. Established in 1993 in Civrieux, France, Ionisos is the third largest cold sterilisation provider globally and operates a network of 11 facilities in Europe with market leading positions in France and Spain. It has over 200 employees and a highly diversified customer base of more than 1,000 customers.

    Ionisos delivers a mission-critical, non-discretionary service for the medical, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries 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 delivered strong performance in the year, exceeding expectations with market growth outperforming and with a favourable product mix. The business is working on plans to increase capacity to meet the additional demand, through a combination of expanding existing facilities, exploring further greenfield investments and monitoring potential M&A opportunities. The construction of the new sterilisation site in Kleve, Germany, is progressing in line with budget and is expected to start operating in Summer 2022.

    In January 2022, we appointed Michel Darnaud as Independent Chair of the board of Ionisos. Michel is the former President of Europe for Baxter and Boston Scientific, and Chair of MedTech Europe. Ionisos will benefit from his expertise and network to continue its European development.

    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


    As part of its sustainability strategy, Ionisos aims to reduce its GHG footprint over the next five years through green initiatives. The other key priorities to its sustainability strategy include providing a great place to work for its employees: the board is focused on promoting a good culture and awareness of health and safety across the business. Ionisos is also striving to build valuable partnerships with its stakeholders, through an active engagement programme with customers, key suppliers, regulators and local authorities.