Agilent plans to acquire BioTek Instruments

Agilent to strengthen its leadership position in growing cell analysis segment

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Agilent Technologies
Agilent to strengthen its leadership position in growing cell analysis segment with BioTek Instruments

Agilent Technologies announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately-owned BioTek Instruments for US$ 1.165 billion (approximately Rs 8036 crore). With anticipated tax benefits for Agilent, the net purchase price is expected to be approximately US$ 1.05 billion (Rs 7243 crore).

California-headquartered Agilent Technologies has a global presence including India. The company was established in 1999 as a spin-off from Hewlett-Packard and provides analytical instruments, software, services and consumables for the entire laboratory workflow. Agilent focuses its products and services on six market segments such as food, environmental and forensics, pharmaceutical, diagnostics, chemical and energy, and research.

BioTek is a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of innovative life science instrumentation. Its comprehensive product line includes cell imaging systems, microplate readers, washers, dispensers, automated incubators and stackers. These products are said to enable life science research by providing customers with high performance, cost-effective analysis across diverse applications. BioTek generated revenues of US$ 162 million (approximately Rs 1117 crore) in fiscal year 2018 ending 31 December, and is expected to grow approximately 10% in 2019.

The transaction is expected to be completed in Agilent’s fiscal fourth quarter of this year, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. Agilent expects the acquisition will be accretive to non-GAAP earnings for a share, contributing US$ 0.02 – 0.04 (Rs 1.38 -2.78) for fiscal year 2020, and compounding growth thereafter.

“BioTek represents a strong strategic fit with Agilent,” said Mike McMullen, Agilent president and chief executive officer. “The combination of these two companies will accelerate our multi-year growth strategy to expand our position in cell analysis. This is another example of Agilent investing in high-growth segments of the life sciences market to serve new and existing customers. Agilent is committed to continuing operations in Vermont and retaining the great team of nearly 500 employees that have been at the core of BioTek’s 50-year history of excellence and success.”

“BioTek and Agilent have already been in partnership for over a year, successfully unlocking significant value through joint development of customer solutions,” said Briar Alpert, chief executive officer of BioTek. “Both companies share the same focus on customers and employees, as well as a similar purpose, mission and values. I am confident that this is the winning formula for our employees and customers around the world.”

Expanding portfolio and leadership in cell analysis

Agilent entered the cell analysis segment in 2015 with the acquisition of Seahorse Bioscience, a leader in providing specialized instruments and live-cell, kinetic assays. Agilent Seahorse XF technology was said to be a leap in the evolution of cellular metabolism analysis, allowing researchers to better understand metabolic profiles in live cells.

In January 2018, Agilent broadened its portfolio of cell analysis solutions through the acquisition of Luxcel Biosciences. Luxcel’s assays use soluble sensors to analyze metabolism, making them a good complement to Agilent’s Seahorse XF technology, providing researchers with more options to analyze live-cell metabolism.

In September 2018, Agilent differentiated its portfolio further through the acquisition of Acea Biosciences, a pioneer in the development and commercialization of high-performance cell analysis platforms for life science research. Upon closing, the size of Agilent’s cell analysis business will be in excess of US$ 250 million (approvimately Rs 1724 crore) in annual revenues.

“By combining BioTek’s offerings with Agilent’s, we will deliver a breadth of differentiated workflows, enabling customers to obtain deeper, more reliable insights across a variety of cell analysis applications,” said Jacob Thaysen, president of Agilent’s Life Sciences and Applied Markets Group. “This positions Agilent well in the large and growing immuno-oncology and immunotherapy markets and expands our presence in biopharma, academia and research as customers seek to understand complex cellular environments and interactions.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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