Hoefer separations business changes hands

Related tags Amersham Dna

Amersham Bioscience has sold its Hoefer one-dimensional
electrophoresis business to Harvard Biosciences for around $5.3
million (€4.4m) in cash.

The transaction gives Harvard rights to use the Hoefer brand across its own electrophoresis product line, but does not include Amersham's 2D electrophoresis products (sold under the Multiphor, IPGPhor and Dalt brands) and its consumables range.

Electrophoresis is a widely used life science research technique to separate and purify both nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) and proteins. The US market for electrophoresis apparatus, gels and reagents is estimated at $112 million, according to data from market research company Phortech International.

Harvard and Amersham have also entered into a long-term (five years-plus) distribution deal. This will see Amersham continue to distribute and support Harvard's 1D electrophoresis products under the Amersham Biosciences brand. Meanwhile, Harvard will develop new products for Amersham, which has committed to purchasing unspecified volumes of these in the first three years of the agreement.

Andrew Carr, president of discovery systems at Amersham Biosciences, said that the agreement was about allowing the company to focus on its core areas of interest - i.e. high-throughput sample preparation, protein expression and protein identification. Meanwhile, it can still give its customers access to 1D electrophoresis, but without the need to spend money on manufacturing and R&D.

In return, Harvard gets access to Amersham's international distribution network and the ability to build its own business under the strong Hoefer brand.

The new Hoefer business will be managed for Harvard Bioscience by Hugh Douglas, who has been involved with the Hoefer product lines since 1979. Douglas will report to David Parr, managing director of Harvard Bioscience's Biochrom business.

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