Bruker BioSciences is to acquire the affiliated, but privately-held Bruker BioSpin group for $914m (€620m) in a bid to expand its distribution capabilities and increase its customer base.
The acquisition of magnetic resonance spectroscopy expert Bruker BioSpin will bring the entire Bruker group of companies under the ownership of Bruker BioSciences which will have combined pro forma revenues of around $900m a year.
The proposed deal, expected to close early next year, is to be comprised of $388m of cash and 57.5m BioSciences shares, with a combined value of around $526m.
According to the company, after completion the newly combined Bruker Corporation will be in a position to provide a unique combination of complementary high-performance scientific instruments for molecular, applied, industrial and materials research and analysis.
"This business combination will enable us to better leverage the Bruker brand and to increase our capabilities even further in many of the markets and geographies that we serve," said Frank Laukien, President and CEO of both Bruker BioSciences and Bruker BioSpin.
"We expect that a combined single public Bruker company will be beneficial to our customers, employees and suppliers, and will be advantageous to all Bruker BioSciences shareholders through significantly improved operating margins, net income margins, EPS (earnings per share) and cash flows."
The Bruker group of companies has a somewhat confusing history having been founded in 1960 by Professor G Laukien and Dr E Bruker, as the Bruker Physik AG. Indeed, to this day members of the Laukien family own 52 per cent of the BioSciences Corporation and 100 per cent of BioSpin.
In 1965, the next part of the Bruker Group was founded as Spectrospin that developed the world's first NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) spectrometer with full transistor technology, the HFX-90.
The company entered the FT-IR (fourier transform infra red) field in 1974, which led to Bruker Optics, and the mass spectrometry field in 1980 with the formation of Bruker Daltonics.
In 1997 Bruker bought AXS from Siemens to form the Bruker AXS company before spinning out its magnetic resonance products as the Bruker BioSpin business in 2001.
After a series of corporate reorganisations, Bruker AXS merged with Bruker Daltonics in 2003 to form Bruker BioSciences, which acquired Bruker Optics in 2006.
The addition of Bruker Biospin to the Bruker Corporation is expected to be "highly accretive" to earnings while "significantly" improving its operating margin and cash flow with the Laukien family expected to own around 69 per cent of the combined company.
In order for the deal to go through, more than half of the non-Laukien-affiliated shareholders, in addition to the majority of total shareholders, need to support the merger.