Scientific instrument maker Thermo Fisher Scientific will acquire yet another competitor, liquid and ion chromatography leader Dionex, in a transaction valued at $2.1 billion. Thermo will pay $118.50 for each Dionex share, representing a 21% premium over Dionex's closing stock price on Dec. 10.
The deal, expected to close in the first quarter of 2011, will bolster Thermo's expansion in Asia and expand its scientific instruments business in the water quality, consumer safety, and life sciences markets.
Dionex, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., has 1,600 employees in 21 countries. Its sales in the fiscal year ending June 30 were $420 million. Thermo, in contrast, has 35,000 employees and about $10 billion in annual sales of instruments, consumables, and services. Dionex will join Thermo's analytical technologies segment.
"Dionex's strength in chromatography instruments, software, and consumables complements our leading positions in mass spectrometry and laboratory information management systems," says Thermo CEO Marc N. Casper. Thermo's global manufacturing and commercial presence will strengthen Dionex's ability to deliver its products and services, adds Dionex CEO Frank Witney.
With $2.1 billion in annual instrument sales, Thermo Fisher ranked number two in C&EN's most recent ranking of instrument makers (C&EN, April 26, page 22). The acquisition of Dionex will pull the company neck in neck with Life Technologies, which had $2.5 billion in instrument sales last year. However, Agilent's recently completed acquisition of Varian will create a company with about $2.7 billion in annual instrument sales.
Thermo, which was formed in the 2006 merger of Thermo Electron and Fisher Scientific, has been a leading consolidator in the scientific instruments arena. Two weeks before announcing the Dionex deal, Thermo signed an agreement to acquire consumables and lab chemicals supplier Lomb Scientific for $34 million. Other acquisitions this year have included Ahura Scientific, Finnzymes, NovaWave Technologies, and Fermentas.