South-of-the-border buyout

Agilent Technologies signs agreement to acquire assets from ABC Instrumentación Analítica

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SANTA CLARA, Calif.—Early September saw Agilent Technologies Inc. sign a definitive agreement with Mexican company ABC Instrumentación Analítica (ABCIA) to acquire assets of ABCIA. The privately held company, based in Mexico City, is a leading distributor of analytical solutions, including Agilent's own chemical analysis and life-science products.  
Financial details were not released, but as of press time for DDNews, the assumption was that the acquisition would be completed by Oct. 1, subject to customary closing conditions.  
ABCIA actually has a relationship with Agilent so longstanding that it goes back to before Agilent existed as an independent entity. The Mexican company was founded in 1986 as a distributor of Hewlett-Packard Co.'s analytical solutions, and ABCIA later became an Agilent distributor when HP spun off Agilent in 1999. ABCIA provides sales, application support and customer training for Agilent products, such as gas and liquid chromatographs, mass spectrometers, atomic and molecular spectroscopy systems and bioanalyzers.  
With a more than two-decade history of partnership behind them, notes Sylvia Escobar, vice president in charge of field operations for Agilent's chemical analysis business in the Americas, the post-acquisition situation will be one of a unified team that provides better customer service, more streamlined processes and more consistent delivery of top-tier services.
"The strategy is to improve the customer interface by providing a complete and well-integrated sales and service Agilent experience," Escobar tells DDNews. "The acquisition of ABCIA enables us to sell directly to customers and integrate processes with the existing Agilent service delivery organization. The direct channel enables Agilent to provide the Mexico customer base a richer experience and deeper relationships that will result in programs and solutions aligned with the business opportunities and technology needs of the Mexican market."  
"We have worked successfully with Agilent for many years, and see this acquisition as a natural fit for both parties," said César Espinoza, CEO and founder of ABCIA, in a news release announcing the deal. "We are pleased with the acquisition as it provides the opportunity to further enhance our long partnership with Agilent and solidify the brand's presence in the expanding Mexican market. The unification of our teams also provides our employees with a major opportunity for further professional development while ensuring that our clients will receive even better service."  
About 30 ABCIA employees are expected to transfer to Agilent at completion of the acquisition.   Looking toward the more far-reaching aims of the acquisition, Escobar says, "The long-term plans are to retain Agilent's market leadership position in chromatography and expand to new technologies such as NMR and spectroscopy. The focus of the channel will be directed at the growth opportunities in key markets, including energy and food safety testing."  

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