OpenGate acquires Lab Workstations from Thermo Fisher Scientific

Century-old business unit generates $175 million in revenue

Lloyd Dunlap
LOS ANGELES—OpenGate Capital LLC, a private investment andacquisition firm, has acquired the Laboratory Workstations business of ThermoFisher Scientific Inc. No financial terms were disclosed. 
According to OpenGate, the business unit generates $175million annually in revenue. Its products include wood, metal and adaptablesystems laboratory furniture, fume hoods and Epoxyn tops marketed and soldunder three established brand names: Hamilton, Advanced Laboratory Concepts andCollegedale. The business specializes in working closely with architects, labplanners, building owners and contractors to design, manufacture and integratelaboratory workstations and fume hoods to enhance productivity and safety inthe lab and to ensure compliance with lab certifications.
 
 
The business has a highly diversified, North Americancustomer base in the academic, government, research, pharmaceutical andbiotechnology markets. In addition to facilities in Wisconsin, Texas, Arkansasand Mexico, Lab Workstations has established domestic and international dealernetworks and dedicated sales personnel in China, India and the Middle East.
 
 
Andrew Nikou, OpenGate's founder, managing partner and CEO,states, "We are extremely pleased to have worked with Thermo Fisher Scientificon this divestiture. We view the Lab Workstations business as an extraordinaryopportunity for our team to apply our operational know-how and maximize theefficiencies of the business. I am confident that great value will be createdas this acquisition sits perfectly in our wheelhouse of expertise, fromtransitioning and operating a niche manufacturing business, to satisfyingexisting and new customer orders and integrating approximately 1,800 employeesinto our family of companies. We are committed to investing significant humanand financial capital, and look forward to building upon the inherent successesof the business."
 
 
Leading the transaction for OpenGate were Michael Kraus, thefirm's senior principal and head of North American mergers and acquisitions,and Sebastien Kiekert Le Moult, special advisor to the company.
 
"The Lab Workstations business has significant operationalvalue when we consider the 100-year heritage of the business, theindustry-leading position it has in a highly specialized market and the robustmanufacturing capabilities that exist today," says Kraus. "We're confident thatworking with the management team at Lab Workstations, we can create evengreater value."
 
 
Commenting further on the transaction, Le Moult says, "LabWorkstations is already fully staffed and operates as a standalone businessunit that will run independently. This is a great advantage, as it enablesOpenGate to immediately focus on strategies to grow, expand and optimize thebusiness."
 
 
OpenGate is a global private investment firm specializing inthe acquisition and operation of businesses seeking revitalization throughgrowth and operational improvements. Established in 2005, OpenGate isheadquartered in Los Angeles and maintains offices in Paris and São Paulo,Brazil. To date, the company has executed more than 20 transactions rangingfrom corporate divestitures to turnaround acquisitions, industry consolidationsand other special-situation investments. Its portfolio of wholly ownedbusinesses generates nearly $2 billion in revenue and includes businesses froma wide range of industries and geographic markets. Transaction partners includeDean Foods, Philips, Le Monde, Schlumberger and Getronics International. Nikoucurrently serves as chairman of the board for each portfolio company.
 
 
So who is Nikou?He was born in Vancouver, Canada and grew up in the United States and went onto study finance at the University of Southern California's Marshall School ofBusiness. He previously worked for Platinum Equity and the Patent and License Exchange. His biostates that he "is currently working on establishing OpenGate's entertainmentand media department." As founder, managing partner and CEO of OpenGate,he leads the firm's expanding bench of professionals in the acquisition andoperation of businesses throughout the world. According to his bio, Nikou is"guided by a clear and disciplined investment strategy: acquire stranded,underperforming or non-core businesses that are divisions of Fortune 1000companies, infuse each with the human and financial capital necessary torejuvenate the business and improve the overall value."
 
 

 
Thermo FisherScientific and bioMérieux renew biomarker pact
 
MARCY L'ETOILE, France—In early October, Thermo FisherScientific Inc. and bioMérieux announced the renewal of their non-exclusive,long-term, royalty-bearing agreement for Procalcitonin (PCT) testing.
 
The agreement extends a longstanding relationship betweenthe companies for biomarker testing using Thermo Fisher Scientific's PCTproduct on bioMérieux's VIDAS and mini VIDAS immunoassay platforms, and nowalso includes the new-generation VIDAS products.
 
VIDAS B·R·A·H·M·S PCT is available worldwide, and bioMérieuxreceived 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for theassay in 2007. The VIDAS platform has the largest installed base worldwide inimmunoassay laboratories and is well suited to emergency situations.
 
"The continuation of our close collaboration with bioMérieuxand the installed base of VIDAS equipment worldwide significantly strengthenour ability to make PCT testing available to a broader patient population,"said Marc Tremblay, president of Thermo Fisher Scientific's clinicaldiagnostics business, in a statement. "Earlier detection of sepsis improvespatient care and reduces treatment costs. It will also provide a much neededboost to hospitals struggling to maintain service levels and remaincompetitive."
 
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

 

Lloyd Dunlap

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