The company now known as Avantor® was founded in 1904 by John Townsend (J.T.) Baker.

John Townsend Baker was studying chemistry at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, when he realized that the laboratory chemicals he was using in class were not pure enough to yield accurate results. Taking matters into his own hands, he founded the J.T.Baker Chemical Company in 1904 to produce chemicals of the "highest degree of purity commercially available." His company would later become Avantor, and help set the global standard for quality and purity in product manufacturing. 

Almost 50 years earlier, John Taylor made the journey from New York to California in search of gold. After being unsuccessful in his venture, John discovered another way to be successful by selling products to serve the mining and laboratory markets. In 1852, he began the John Taylor Company, which would later expand to become VWR, the leading global provider of product and service solutions to laboratory and production customers in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, industrial, education, government and healthcare industries, and our largest acquisition to date.

Global Evolution

When it was founded in 1904, the J.T.Baker Chemical Company had 20 employees in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. Today, Avantor employs more than 13,500 associates and has operations in over 30 countries. We are a trusted partner, from discovery to delivery, to customers and suppliers in the life sciences and advanced technologies & applied materials industries.

While the company has grown its manufacturing and distribution capabilities, product portfolio, and global reach through several strategic acquisitions, our goal of providing high-quality materials and service to our customers around the world has not changed.


J.T.Baker Chemical Co. founded


Procter & Gamble acquires J.T.Baker Chemical Co.


Mallinckrodt, Inc. acquires J.T.Baker Chemical Co.


Avantor was acquired by affiliates of New Mountain Capital, our sponsor, from Covidien plc


Avantor acquires RFCL in India

Avantor acquires POCH in Poland


Avantor merges with NuSil (founded in 1979)


Avantor acquires VWR (founded in 1852)

Avantor acquires Puritan Products


Avantor®, a Fortune 500 company, is a leading global provider of mission-critical products and services to customers in the biopharma, healthcare, education & government, and advanced technologies & applied materials industries. Our portfolio is used in virtually every stage of the most important research, development and production activities in the industries we serve. Our global footprint enables us to serve more than 300,000 customer locations and gives us extensive access to research laboratories and scientists in more than 180 countries. We set science in motion to create a better world.