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Thermo Fisher to buy electron microscopy supplies maker Gatan

Acquisition builds on recent purchases of electron microscope makers FEI and Phenom-World

by Marc S. Reisch
July 9, 2018 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 96, Issue 28


An image of an AlNiCo magnet.
Credit: Paolo Longo/Gatan
A transmission electron microscopy image of an AlNiCo magnet.

Thermo Fisher Scientific has reached an agreement to purchase electron microscopy supplies maker Gatan from parent Roper Technologies for $925 million.

Headquartered in Pleasanton, Calif., Gatan has 320 employees and manufacturing operations in Warrendale, Pa. The company is expected to generate $150 million in sales this year, a drop in the bucket compared with Thermo Fisher’s annual revenue of more than $20 billion.

However, the acquisition will complement Thermo Fisher’s 2016 purchase of electron microscope maker FEI for $4.2 billion and the 2018 acquisition of Phenom-World, a small Dutch producer of desktop scanning electron microscopes.

Those two acquisitions established Thermo Fisher as a player in electron microscopy and filled a gap in the instrument maker’s portfolio of chromatography, mass spectrometry, and gene-sequencing instruments.

Gatan’s tools will give Thermo Fisher customers access to “an integrated system that seamlessly connects microscope hardware, software, and accessories,” says Dan Shine, president of Thermo Fisher’s analytical instruments business.

Gatan brings a portfolio of specimen preparation tools, filter systems, cameras, and software that scientists employ with electron microscopes. The firm’s cameras, for instance, record high-resolution microscopy images used in materials science, electronics, and the life sciences.

Thermo Fisher expects to complete the acquisition by the end of this year.


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