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Agilent to Acquire Advanced Analytical Technologies for $250M; Buys Remaining Lasergen Shares

This article has been updated from a previous version to include information about Agilent acquiring the remaining shares of Lasergen.

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Agilent said after the close of the market Wednesday that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Advanced Analytical Technologies (AATI) for $250 million in cash.

Based in Ankeny, Iowa, AATI develops and sells capillary electrophoresis (CE) instruments, reagents, and software for nucleic acid analysis. The company's instruments use parallel CE with UV absorbance of fluorescence detection for applications such as next-generation sequencing library quality control, CRISPR/Cas9 mutation detection, oligonucleotide purity assessment, and genomic DNA analysis.

Agilent noted that the platforms are used in a variety of industry segments including pharma and biopharma, academia and government, clinical and diagnostics, food, environmental and forensics, and chemical and energy.

"Technology advances in genomics, metabolomics, and proteomics are driving growth and demand for innovative new solutions," Stefan Schuette, vice president and general manager of Agilent’s liquid phase separations division, said in a statement. "The value of this acquisition is in the expanded capabilities for emerging applications that Agilent and AATI together can offer."

AATI's flagship platform is the Fragment Analyzer, a parallel CE instrument that automates key CE steps such as gel loading and sample injection to simplify the CE workflow.

In recent years the company has made a push into high-throughput NGS with the launch of new instruments, as well as partnerships with companies like Pacific Biosciences, TTP Labtech, and, most recently, Illumina.

AATI currently has about 100 employees. Agilent said that the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.

Separately this week, Agilent disclosed in a 10Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that on Feb. 23 it exercised its option to acquire the remaining shares of next-generation sequencing technology firm Lasergen for $105 million.

Agilent had invested $80 million in Houston-based Lasergen in March 2016, giving it a 48 percent share in the company. Under the terms of the deal, Agilent had an option to acquire the remaining shares until March 2, 2018.

At the time of its initial investment, Agilent noted that it intended to combine its engineering expertise with Lasergen's novel sequencing chemistry to build an entire clinical sequencing workflow.

The completion of the LaserGen transaction is contingent on executing the merger agreement and certain closing conditions, Agilent said in its SEC filing.