$10.5 per share takeover will expand firm’s portfolio in imaging, microfluidics, sample prep, and drug development.

PerkinElmer is to acquire Caliper Life Sciences for $600 million net, in cash. The firm says the buyout will provide it with an expanded portfolio of technologies and platforms in fields spanning molecular, cellular, animal, and tissue imaging, microfluidics for genomics and proteomics applications, sample preparation technologies for next-gen sequencing, as well as drug development and biologics QA/QC.

The $10.5 per share acquisition price represents a 42% premium on Caliper’s closing price yesterday. Both firms’ boards of directors have unanimously endorsed the deal, which is still subject to Caliper stockholder aprpoval.

“The acquisition of Caliper Life Sciences brings innovative molecular imaging and detection technologies to our portfolio, complementing our world-leading offerings in life science, diagnostics, environmental, and food markets,” comments Robert F. Friel, PerkinElmer chairman and CEO. “The R&D, application expertise and intellectual property for the combined organization will provide our customers with enhanced knowledge and services and a strong pipeline of innovation.”

Caliper’s portfolio spans microfluidics, lab automation and liquid handling, optical imaging technologies, as well as discovery and development outsourcing solutions. Flagship platforms include its microfluidic LabChip® systems and biophotonic and fluorescent imaging technologies.

Caliper’s Discovery Alliances & Services (CDAS) preclinical contract research division was  established through the acquisition of NovaScreen Biosciences and Xenogen Biosciences in 2005 and 2006, respectively. The firm reported revenues of $38.3 million in the first quarter of 2011, up 37% on the equivalent 2010 period. The firm projected 2011 revenues would reach $146–$152 million.  

PerkinElmer’s acquisition of Caliper represents the latest in a string of takeovers this year. In June the firm acquired U.K.-based Dexela, to expand its medical imaging portfolio. In May it took over electronic laboratory notebook (ELN) solutions firm Labtronics and Geospiza, which develops software systems for the management of next-gen sequencing data through web-based cloud computing environment.

March saw the acquisition of CambridgeSoft, which specializes in discovery, collaboration, and knowledge enterprise solutions for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and chemical industries. During the same month PerkinElmer completed its previously announced acquisition of ArtusLabs, which has developed its Ensemble platform for integrating disparate data from  legacy ELNs and informatics systems and databases. In February it was chemagen Biopolymer-Technologie’s turn to be bought up by PerkinElmer, for its automated nucleic acid isolation and sample preparation technologies.

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