FEI makes strategic life sciences tech acquisition by buying TILL Photonics


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HILLSBORO, Ore.―Instrumentation company FEI,  which provides imaging andanalysis systems for research and industry, hasacquired TILL Photonics GmbH of Munich, Germany, for approximately $20million, plus an earn-out payable in two years ifspecified milestones are reached. 
According to FEI, "TILL brings great products, a wealth oftechnology and a skilled and experienced team to FEI, along withrevenues of approximately $8 million for calendar year 2011" and FEO President and CEO DonKania adds, "TheLife Sciences market is a key growth opportunity for FEI. With this acquisition, FEI acquiresadditional key technology for correlative microscopy for cellularbiology, which integrates high performance light and electronmicroscopy.  Now we can accelerate the growth of our life sciencesbusiness, which is an important component of our company-wide plan todouble our served available market in the next three years." 
This will build, theoretically, on recent good news at the company, such as the report last month that its third-quarter earnings more thandoubled as sales increased 34 percent and as sales in the life sciences segment jumped65 percent from a year earlier.

In early trading Nov. 14, the day of the announcement, FEI shares were up 1.3 percent to $40.60.
Speaking from the other side of the acquisition deal, Frank Lison,president of TILL Photonics, adds, "Thevery open and flexible microscope platforms of TILL are an idealstarting point for correlative microscopy. They will open up new marketopportunities for our high-resolution technologies. The strength of FEIwill help us to achieve our goals much faster."  
TILL providessophisticated, high resolution, digital light microscopes and high speedimaging systems for live cell fluorescence microscopy, and it describes itself as "a leading diversified scientific instruments company" and "a premier provider of electron- and ion-beam microscopes andsolutions for nanoscale applications across many industries: industrialand academic materials research, life sciences, semiconductors, datastorage, natural resources and more."
FEI boasts more than 2,000employees and sales and service operations that span 50 countries, along with some 60 years of experience. For its part, TILLPhotonics, which brings 40 Germany-based employees to FEI's workforce, has been developing and marketing cutting-edge microscopes andmicroscopy related products for imaging of living cells since 1993. The company's imaging platforms are said to be flexible and enable innovative set-ups that are used infundamental research, applied science and diagnostics.

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