The privately held scientific instrumentation company, headquartered in Tokyo, said it represents a ‘significant step’ in the expansion of the single-crystal X-ray business.
Formerly Oxford Diffraction within Varian when acquired by Agilent in 2010, the XRD group is a manufacturer of single-crystal X-ray instruments for the chemical crystallography market.
We have contacted Rigaku regarding potential plans for the technology in the food industry.
New business unit planned
Rigaku plans to combine XRD with its existing crystallography business to form a new business unit.
XRD products will be developed and produced at existing factories in Poland and Japan.
Rigaku said the need for chemical analysis of food has increased in recent years with increased emphasis in industry and by government on safety, efficacy and content labelling.
X-ray diffraction is an analytical technique that reveals the crystallographic structure of materials.
Rigaku employs more than 1,100 people in manufacturing, sales and support of its analytical equipment, which is used in more than 70 countries for research, development, and quality assurance activities.
Hikaru Shimura, Rigaku president and CEO, said: "By combining Agilent's XRD business with Rigaku's expertise in protein crystallography, we will be able to leverage the best technologies from both groups to provide our current and future customers with solutions for single-crystal analysis."
The transaction is expected to close in May subject to local laws and customary closing conditions.
Patrick Kaltenbach, president at Agilent Life Sciences and Applied Markets Group, said the agreement is a positive development for the XRD business.
"I am confident that Rigaku will provide excellent support to grow the XRD business with complementary technology and the expertise of a highly talented team."