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Danaher acquires Leica for $550 million

Posted: 05 Jul 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:semiconductor equipment?

Diversified conglomerate Danaher Corp. has entered the semiconductor equipment and other markets by announcing on Friday (July 1) that it has acquired Germany's Leica Microsystems AG from LM Investments for about 450 million euros ($550 million).

With the acquisition of Leica (Wetzlar, Germany), Danaher (Washington D.C.) gains a quick entry into the metrology, direct-write electron-beam, wafer inspection, and other fab-tool segments. Leica and IMS Nanofabrication GmbH are jointly developing a "programmable mask" maskless lithography tool (see Jan. 18 story).

Danaher is a multi-billion-dollar manufacturer of professional instrumentation, industrial technologies, tools and components.

Leica is also one of the market leaders in microscopy, pathology diagnostics and surgical microscopes. With a workforce of approximately 3,700 employees, it makes a turnover of some 530 million euros ($634 million).

But the company has been struggling in the semiconductor-equipment market. Earlier this year, Leica disclosed that the president of its semiconductor-equipment unit in the United States stepped down as part of a major reorganization within the German company (see Feb. 9 story).

Danaher, however, believes Leica is a good, strategic fit for the company. "This transaction makes strong strategic and financial sense for both companies," said. H. Lawrence Culp Jr., president and chief executive of Danaher, in a statement. "Leica Microsystems' technology in high precision optical instrumentation and its well-known brand will extend Danaher's professional instrumentation segment into life sciences while complementing our existing critical care diagnostics and dental businesses."

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the third quarter. Danaher expects minimal earnings per share accretion in 2005.

- Mark LaPedus

EE Times

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