BIO-OPTICS/BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Consolidation among instrumentation makers, suppliers

Among the several recent acquisitions in the biophotonics market are deals involving optics, spectroscopy, micropositioning, and molecular imaging technologies—and totaling well more than $600 million dollars.

In a transaction valued at approximately $24 million, advanced materials supplier Materion Corp (MTRN; Mayfield Heights, OH) has acquired EIS Optics Ltd. (Shanghai, China), a producer of thin-film optical filters and optical subassemblies, among other components of biomedical instrumentation. The acquisition brings an Asian manufacturing base that will enable Materion to better serve its growing Asian optical coatings businesses. Materion expects the move to enable development of new technology and extend its range of applications.

In another multinational deal, Rigaku Americas Corp. (The Woodlands, TX) has acquired from BaySpec (San Jose, CA) handheld Raman spectroscopy technology designed for medical diagnostics and food contamination detection, among other applications. The buyer has formed a new division, Rigaku Raman Technologies Inc., to accommodate its new acquisition and has named analytical technology entrepreneur Hal Grodzins as president and CEO. Co-located in San Jose, CA, and The Woodlands, TX, the division will handle R&D, engineering, production, marketing, and distribution of products covering 532, 785, and 1064 nm sample excitation wavelengths.

PI (Physik Instrumente; Karlsruhe, Germany), meanwhile, has made a move to supplement its nanopositioning and micropositioning product range—which enables life sciences imaging instrumentation—with vacuum precision positioning applications and system integration products. The means for doing so was acquisition of a majority share of another German company, miCos GmbH (Eschbach), which specializes in micropositioning and motion control. As a result, PI is now able to offer air-bearing technology and electro-magnetic linear motors, as well as high-load rotation stages and long-travel (up to 1000 mm) linear stages. PI-miCos will operate as a subsidiary of PI GmbH & Co. and will be managed by miCos founder Lucius Amelung. Terms of the PI and Rigaku deals were not announced.

Finally, in an effort to expand its solution and services offerings, one Massachusetts-based company, PerkinElmer, Inc. (Waltham, MA), has acquired another—Caliper Life Sciences, Inc. (Hopkinton, MA)—for approximately $600 million in cash. Caliper is known for its molecular imaging and detection products. PerkinElmer notes that combining technology platforms will expand its ability to facilitate translational medicine research through molecular, cellular, animal, and tissue imaging, as well as an added microfluidics platform for genomics and proteomics applications; sample preparation technologies for next-generation DNA sequencing; and platform technology additions to drive expansion into areas such as detection for environmental contaminants and food pathogens. The acquisition became official in early November, at which point Caliper CEO Kevin Hrusovsky joined the PerkinElmer senior leadership team.

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