• Ionisos 500X367

    Social infrastructure


    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 10 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

    Performance at Ionisos continues to be strong, with EBITDA growth exceeding expectations on the back of continuous strong demand in the medical and pharmaceutical markets, more than offsetting a downturn in the German cable industry. Inflation also remains a positive tailwind.

    In order to meet this fast-growing demand, Ionisos has made good progress on a number of growth projects. It acquired a facility in Switzerland from an industrial company, it started operations of a new plant in Kleve, Germany, in January 2023 (on budget and with additional customers beyond the anchor client), and it is actively considering further greenfield expansion plans in both new and existing locations.

    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 essential services to the medical and pharmaceutical industries through cold sterilisation. This ensures medical devices are safe for all to use. In 2022, 65% of revenues were derived from services provided to the medical and pharmaceutical industries. As part of its sustainability strategy, Ionisos is also working on GHG emission reduction initiatives, notably with implementation of fugitive emissions isolation measures, the deployment of solar panels in its Spanish facility and the conversion to electric of its duty vehicles fleet in France.