Thermo Fisher Scientific agreed to buy FEI for approximately $4.2 billion. FEI designs, manufactures, and supports electron microscopy workflows that provide images and information at micro-, nano-, and picometer scales.
“The addition of FEI’s electron microscopy platform is an outstanding strategic fit with our company and will create significant value for our customers and our shareholders,” pointed out Marc Casper, president and CEO of Thermo. “In life sciences, there is growing adoption of electron microscopy to study the structure of proteins. The technologies we gain with FEI will complement our mass spectrometry leadership, putting Thermo Fisher in the best position to capitalize on this important trend. We will also be able to leverage our global scale and commercial reach to extend the use of FEI’s products within our large biopharma customer base. Finally, the transaction will be immediately accretive to our earnings and will create value for our shareholders through cost and revenue synergies.”
Don Kania, president and CEO of FEI, believes that customers will benefit from the shared commitment Thermo Fisher and FEI have to innovation and customer service.
“And our employees will see new opportunities as our development and market expansion plans accelerate by being part of Thermo Fisher,” he said. “Fundamentally, this transaction bolsters our already strong position in the marketplace and allows us to play an increasing role in enabling our customers to accelerate breakthrough discoveries, increase productivity and provide solutions to global challenges.”
Eric Criscuolo, an analyst at Mizuho Securities USA, noted that while the acquisition is a bit outside of Thermo's recent deals (Affymetrix, Alfa Aesar, etc), “we still see the strategic rationale and think it should fit well within [Thermo’s} organization, while enhancing an already strong value proposition to the biopharma market.”
According to Criscuolo, the biopharma market is a significant market opportunity, as FEI’s imaging platforms move more into cell and tissue and structural biology research, in particular imaging of proteins and molecular interactions
He added that he is not surprised that [Thermo] continues to consolidate the still highly-fragmented life science tools market, and expects “management to continue to diligently roll up the industry, although M&A activity may pause a bit near-term.”