Thermo Electron has signed an agreement to acquire French laboratory equipment provider Jouan SA for €110.9 million in cash plus the assumption of approximately €7.1 million of consolidated net debt.
The move ties in with comments by Thermo CEO Marijn Dekkers at the Thomas Weisel conference earlier this month that the company was looking to make acquisitions in the laboratory and life sciences area.
Jouan is a global supplier of products used by life science researchers in academic, pharmaceutical, biotech, and clinical markets to prepare and preserve laboratory samples.
With total estimated sales of approximately €82 million in 2003, Jouan's offerings include centrifuges, biological safety cabinets, ultra-low temperature freezers and incubators. The company has also incorporated robotics into many of its products to meet the increased throughput requirements of researchers, and has a range of automated centrifuges, freezers, and incubators.
In addition to its own brand name, Jouan's products are sold worldwide under the Precision, NAPCO, Heto, Holten, and ALC brands.
"Jouan is a great example of a strategic acquisition that builds on Thermo's strengths - in this case by broadening our sample preparation and storage product lines, sales channels, and geographic market coverage," said Dekkers.
"Jouan's strong position in centrifuges and biological safety cabinets complements our own market strength in incubators and freezers. The combination of Jouan's extensive network of distributors, which covers Western Europe and emerging markets in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Latin America, with our direct sales force serving North America and Asia, will significantly expand our geographic reach. For our customers, this means that we will be better equipped to provide a full range of laboratory solutions - all from one source."
The acquisition, which is subject to the usual closing conditions including regulatory approvals in several countries, is expected to be completed by the end of this year.