Deal could include another €20 million in performance-related milestones.

Roche is buying Germany-based clinical lab automation firm PVT and its U.S. sales and distribution subsidiary for €65 million (about $91 million) up front, plus up to €20 million ($28 million) in performance-related milestones. The acquired firm specializes in the development of customized automation and workflow solutions for in vitro diagnostic testing in commercial and hospital laboratories. Roche says PVT’s products and expertise will bolster its position in the core laboratory field, a market it estimates was worth some $15.3 billion in 2009.

Once the transaction has been completed, PVT will become part of Roche’s Professional Diagnostics business and operate as a Roche center for competence in the development and manufacturing of automation products. Access to PVT’s products will allow Roche to combine its own analyzers, including its Cobas systems, with PVT’s modular pre-analytics systems or front- and back-end automation solutions to provide customized systems for different size clinical laboratories.

“Increasing laboratory consolidation leading to testing volumes of tens of thousands of samples per day demands an ever-higher degree of automation,” comments Daniel O’Day, Roche Diagnostics’ COO. “With PVT’s technology, we will be able to deliver integrated and highly efficient automation solutions to meet the evolving needs of our customers.”

“We will further develop customized automation solutions that complement and enhance our entire laboratory analytics instrument portfolio, which we expect will boost sales across our entire core business,” adds Colin Brown, head of Roche Professional Diagnostics.

PVT and Roche have been collaborating over the last 15 years, with the latter acting as a distributor for PVT products in markets including Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

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