Tecan to acquire SPEware Corporation for $50m

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

©iStock/Trinset. The transaction is expected to close within the coming weeks
©iStock/Trinset. The transaction is expected to close within the coming weeks

Related tags North america Mass spectrometry United states

The Tecan Group has acquired a provider of mass spectrometry sample preparation systems with a focus on the North American market.

SPEware Corporation (SPEware) will become part of Tecan's Life Sciences Business. Clients are mostly large reference labs and specialized laboratories in North America.

The base purchase consideration of $50m (CHF 49m) will be paid in cash and represents three times fiscal year 2016 sales of SPEware.

An additional amount of up to $10m (CHF 9.8m) will be payable subject certain performance-related targets over the next two years.

Accelerate growth

With over 70% of revenues generated with smart consumables, the acquisition will further expand overall recurring revenues, said Tecan.

The firm has manufacturing, research and development sites in Europe and North America and a sales and service network in 52 countries.

Dr David Martyr, Tecan CEO, praised SPEware for developing and commercializing its solid phase extraction technology.

“With SPEware's current focus on North America, we are excited about the opportunity to leverage Tecan's global sales and service infrastructure to build on that momentum and further accelerate growth,” ​he said.

“This transaction follows very much the rationale of our acquisition of IBL International in 2014, which supported our evolution into a solutions business for dedicated applications.

“With SPEware's consumable and dedicated instrument offering, we can now expand our solution offering into the sample preparation for mass spectrometry market, complementing the market for specialty immunoassays served by IBL International."

LC-MS workflow efficiency

SPEware provides sample preparation systems to analytical laboratories, by combining chemistry consumables with instruments and modules to make liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) workflows more efficient.

The firm has outgrown the market due to the underlying market trend of adoption of automated solid phase extraction as the preferred sample preparation technique for high complexity tests.

Separation of targeted analytes from complex matrix components prior to injection onto the LC-MS offers improved assay robustness and less instrument maintenance, said Tecan.  

SPEware said its proprietary micro-particulate sorbent consumables for solid phase extraction offer higher selectivity, reproducible separations and overall data improvement.

Phil Dimson, CEO and founder of SPEware, said: "Tecan's global market presence as a leader in laboratory automation platforms, including in our core market, is the perfect complement to SPEware's smart consumables and devices for mass spectrometry sample preparation solutions."

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