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 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.
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