124 and counting

Venerable WHEATON Industries acquires chromatography vial supply company MicroLiter Analytical Supplies

Lloyd Dunlap
MILLVILLE, N.J.—WHEATON Industries has acquired MicroLiterAnalytical Supplies Inc., of Suwanee, Ga., in a move that adds a specialtybrand of pre-cleaned chromatography sample vials and accessories for use withautosamplers to WHEATON's product mix.
 
 
WHEATON, which will celebrate the 125thanniversary of its corporate founding in 1888 next year, brought scale, cashflow and global reach to the marriage, says company president Wayne Brinster.
 
 
"MicroLiter, a leading brand in high-precisionchromatography, is a strategic step in strengthening WHEATON's leadership inchemical analysis products. To that end, we welcome MicroLiter's dedicatedcustomers and advocates," says Brinster. "We're looking forward to asynergistic relationship in which we can better support scientists and researchersthrough efficiencies and product line expansion."
 
 
Brinster notes that WHEATON, which was bought from Alcan byprivate investors in 2006, currently has a manufacturing operation in Europeand a presence through distributors in Asia, South American and Africa.
 
 
Brinster points out that MicroLiter, founded in 1996 toprovide high-quality consumable products to the autosampler market, isrecognized for its focus on supplying precleaned, sample containment productsprocessed in Class 10,000 cleanroom facilities. Its product line includes12x32mm glass autosampler vials, inserts, septa and closures, and theMicroLiter Plate Sampling System, a patented design that provides a 96-well,multi-array sample-handling format for chromatography autosamplers.
 
"We have had a line of chromatography products for severalyears," Brinster notes. "It's a competitive line but the buying decision canhinge on things like packaging or cap design. MicroLiter, on the other hand, isregarded by customers as having products that are effective in backgroundreduction, which is particularly important in the high-precision area. You canget the job done without it, but the absence of competing peaks makes the jobeasier."
 
 
MicroLiter's focus is on offering high-performance autosamplervials and accessories. To underline this, "we do not consider any vial cleanthat enters our facility. To ensure cleanliness we have installed a cleaningprocess that results in very low particulate vials. As you know,gamma-radiating products give you clean dirt. Dirt, however, is still dirt inchromatography. MicroLiter believes we have an overall higher standard ofproducts because we control the cleanliness of the products we sell, not oursuppliers," the company website states.
 
 
Brinster points out that WHEATON is supporting continuedproduct development and service improvements with its supply chain expertiseand additional sales support from its established team of specialists.
 
"Wedidn't buy MicroLiter to roll them up," Brinster states. "We'll capitalize onvolume purchasing and other similar economies, but MicroLiter will continue todeal with its customers from its very good operational base."
 
 
Kim Gamble, founder and president of MicroLiter AnalyticalSupplies, adds: "We are delighted to become part of WHEATON, a brand thathonors the work of scientists."
 
Gamble will remain involved with the business, providingconsultative and leadership support. As part of the acquisition, the InstrumentTop Sample Preparation products and patents were retained by prior management,as this portion of MicroLiter's business did not fit the WHEATON businessmodel.

Lloyd Dunlap

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