Thermo Fisher Acquires Electron Microscopy Firm

Nancy Crotti

June 1, 2016

3 Min Read
Thermo Fisher Acquires Electron Microscopy Firm

Oregon-based FEI's electron microscope technology complements Thermo Fisher's mass spectrometry business.

Nancy Crotti

Thermo Fisher has been hinting of late at making another acquisition, and it just pulled the trigger.

The Waltham, MA, company announced it plans to acquire electron microscope technology company FEI for $4.2 billion. FEI designs, manufactures, and supports high-performance electron microscopy workflows that provide images and information at micro-, nano- and picometer scales, according to a statement from Thermo Fisher.

Based in Hillsboro, OR, FEI has more than 3000 employees worldwide, with R&D, sales, and manufacturing operations primarily in Europe and the United States. The business, which had 2015 sales of $930 million, will become part of Thermo Fisher's analytical instruments segment.

"The addition of FEI's leading electron microscopy platform is an outstanding strategic fit with our company and will create significant value for our customers and our shareholders," Marc Casper, CEO of Thermo Fisher, said in a statement. "In life sciences, there is growing adoption of electron microscopy to study the structure of proteins. The technologies we gain with FEI will complement our mass spectrometry leadership, putting Thermo Fisher in the best position to capitalize on this important trend."

Don Kania, CEO of FEI said in a statement that the deal "offers a number of important benefits to FEI shareholders, customers and employees." "Fundamentally, this transaction bolsters our already strong position in the marketplace and allows us to play an increasing role in enabling our customers to accelerate breakthrough discoveries, increase productivity, and provide solutions to global challenges," Kania said.

In a recent mixed securities shelf registration filed with the SEC, Thermo Fisher said it might use the proceeds for "the acquisition of companies or businesses," among other possible actions.

Thermo Fisher spent $13.6 billion to acquire Life Technologies Corp. (Carlsbad, CA) in May 2014, which provided the lab products leader with access to the DNA sequencing market. In February 2015, it acquired Advanced Scientifics Inc., of Millersburg, PA, for $300 million.

In January, the company agreed to buy Affymetrix (Santa Clara, CA) for $1.3 billion to increase its offerings in cellular, protein and genetic analysis.

An analysis of of the deal by Zacks Investment Research called the FEI deal "another milestone achievement for Thermo Fisher in recent months in terms of expanding its diverse global business." Zacks called FEI's Cryo-EM technology a "groundbreaking microscopy solution that complements Thermo Fisher's mass spectrometry systems used to identify and characterize proteins."

Thermo Fisher expects the FEI deal to close by early 2017, subject to the approval of FEI shareholders and regulators.

Nancy Crotti is a freelance contributor to Qmed.


About the Author(s)

Nancy Crotti

Nancy Crotti is a frequent contributor to MD+DI. Reach her at [email protected].

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