Purely strategic

Thermo Fisher Scientific acquires German provider of laboratory water purification systems

Jeffrey Bouley
MILFORD, Mass.—Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. recentlycompleted the acquisition of TKA Wasseraufbereitungssysteme GmbH, a Europeanprovider of laboratory water purification systems that is based inNiederelbert, Germany, employing almost 60 employees and posting 2009 full-yearrevenue of nearly $13.6 million.
 
The Niederelbert location is destined to become a center forresearch and development and the manufacturing of laboratory water purificationsystems—with plans to integrate it fully into Thermo Fisher's LaboratoryProducts and Services segment, according to Billy McKnight, a Thermo Fishervice president and general manager.
 
TKA's laboratory water purification systems includeelectrodeionization (EDI), reverse osmosis (RO) and ultrafiltrationtechnologies, and primary product categories include ultrapure water systems,high-purity water systems and pretreatment systems.
With a wider range of laboratory water purification optionsthrough this acquisition, Thermo expects its customers will better be able tomatch the purity level of water to their specific requirements, increasing thereliability of their results across multiple applications and improving laboratoryefficiency.
 
"The addition of TKA's comprehensive offering of laboratorywater purification systems to our portfolio of laboratory equipment andconsumables enables us to meet our customers' growing needs for versatility andproductivity in their laboratories," says Thomas Loewald, president oflaboratory equipment at Thermo Fisher Scientific.
"The demand for ultrapurewater, in particular, is driven by the ever-increasing sensitivity ofanalytical instruments used in life science research."
 
McKnight was not able to share any specifics of the deal interms of financial information or other aspects, saying, "We do not discussdetails of transactions," but adding: "We are pleased to offer the TKA line ofproducts to our customers and begin the process of integrating the TKSemployees into the Thermo Fisher laboratory equipment business." In addition, the TKA management team has officially joinedThermo Fisher's, he says.
 
The TKA water purification products strongly complementThermo's existing range of laboratory equipment, McKnight says.
 
"In particular, the availability of EDI capability, largercapacity systems up to 1,000 liters per hour and pure water systems forclinical analyzers," he adds. "We are continuously looking at opportunities toaugment our offering of laboratory equipment including water purification. Inaddition to electrodeionization, TKA adds to our water purification expertisewith RO and ultrafiltration technologies, and covers throughputs from 10 litersto hundred of liters."
 
While the annual revenues and staff of TKA are a drop in thebucket in comparison to Thermo Fisher Scientific's revenues of more than $10billion and approximately 35,000 employees, it may in some small part play intoThermo's recent Asian ambitions, despite being a European company.
 
As Thermo President and CEO Marc N. Casper noted with therecent acquisition of Lomb Scientific, that transaction was in partinstrumental in reinforcing the company's commitment to expand in the growingAsia Pacific markets.
 
In the case of this latest addition to Thermo's fold, TKAin mid-2008 established a subsidiary in India.
TKA had made that move with recognition, it noted at thetime, that the Republic of India has a total population of more than 1.1billion, second only to China. Also, it is the biggest parliamentary democracyand belongs to the group of the ten biggest national economies, TKA has noted,with a "world status" in the field of computer science, software development,biotechnology and the pharmaceuticals industry.
TKA said at the time that it "realized in good time thatthere will be very good sales opportunities for their products in India" andstarted forging relations with key people in Mumbai and elsewhere in Indiaseven years ago.

Jeffrey Bouley

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