The company will be headquartered on the east coast in Taunton, Mass. with San Diego as its west coast operation, giving Copia a foothold in the country’s biggest life science markets.
“Consolidating the capabilities of these companies creates a platform for further expansion focused on better serving our customers,” VanDeWeghe said in the announcement. “This merger comes at a time of great need for the growing and expanding life science industry.”
Supporting Life Science Companies
Founded in 2002, BioSurplus has been a preeminent buyer, seller and servicer of used lab equipment. VanDeWeghe said that when he joined the company back in 2016, he saw a trend of resources and marketplaces being fragmented in the industry, and as he spoke with other leaders, they agreed.
BioSurplus has worked with life science companies big and small to clear out lab facilities, restore equipment and resell it through online auction in a timely manner. One of the key elements of this business model is its staff of experts who know the worth of this specialty equipment — something that will only grow with the synergy of the merger.
“You have laboratories that are doing crucial work for the world, and if their piece of laboratory equipment goes down for several days, it has a massive impact on them achieving their timelines,” she said. “It could be timelines in drug development, it could be timelines in diagnostic development, in testing, etc. so making sure that equipment is fully operational and that it’s accurate, is crucial.”
VanDeWeghe said that moving forward the company is looking to expand its onsite service providers and that they have been in conversations with other companies who could potentially join Copia Scientific.
Demand Didn’t Drop
During the past year, VanDeWeghe said that there was an increase in demand for lab equipment that supports R&D and diagnostics, which makes sense given the rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines and diagnostics. While you may think there would be a drop in demand, VanDeWeghe said that is not the case and they are ready to support these labs.
Dave Duval, principal at Claiborne Advisors, Inc. served as an exclusive advisor on the deal and he said the used laboratory equipment market is approaching $1 billion.
“There’s nobody out there meeting customer needs with anything close to a one-stop-shop solution — it’s very fragmented, lots of local mom and pop shops. And so, there was a huge opportunity for consolidation here,” Duval said of Copia filling a need in the industry. “There were a number of really good companies out there, but not one of them was big enough to serve as a platform to build a significant company on.”
He added that part of Copia’s strategy for growth will include acquisitions and bringing in more companies to expand the breadth of their offerings onto one platform.
Copia Scientific currently has approximately 50 employees and the company will be immediately hiring from coast to coast as a result of this merger.
CEO: Bill VanDeWeghe
HEADQUARTERS: Taunton, Mass.
BUSINESS: Non-OEM lab equipment reseller, refurbisher and service provider
EMPLOYEES: Approx. 50 employees
NOTABLE: This three-way merger makes Copia the nation’s largest company of its kind in the industry.