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Bruker to Acquire EliTechGroup, Phasefocus

NEW YORK – Bruker has entered into an agreement with private equity firm PAI Partners to purchase EliTechGroup, PAI announced on Wednesday. Separately, Bruker said last Friday that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire optical cell imaging company Phasefocus Holdings for an undisclosed amount.

According to a form 8-K dated Dec. 26 and filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Bruker will pay PAI €870 million ($967 million) for EliTechGroup. Bruker last week submitted a put option letter, which contains a 12-month exclusivity period, according to the SEC document. 

Before the acquisition can be completed, the social and economic committee of EliTech must be informed and consulted and the Dutch Works Council must be consulted for advice on the carve-out of EliTechGroup's clinical chemistry systems business, which Bruker will not acquire.

The deal will be funded with cash on hand and is subject to closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and notices, Bruker said in the SEC document.

Puteaux, France-based EliTechGroup offers instruments and reagents for the molecular diagnostics, clinical chemistry, biomedical systems, and microbiology markets. It has been under PAI's ownership since 2017, the private equity firm noted in a statement.

"EliTech is an agile, research-driven company, and this sale to a leading strategic player is a testament to the quality of the business," Stefano Drago, a partner at PAI, said in a statement. "We have every confidence that Bruker will continue the company's trajectory of innovation and leadership." 

Phasefocus, a privately held company based in Sheffield, UK, and founded in 2006, has expertise in imaging and image processing algorithms, according to Bruker. The company has developed an optical microscope, Livecyte, for label-free imaging that Bruker said will enhance its existing portfolio.

"Phasefocus has extensive image processing and algorithm expertise that they have nicely deployed in their Livecyte product," Frank Burgaezy, president of Bruker's AXS division, said in a statement. "This is a good addition to our broad imaging portfolio, and their technology will enable us to drive further product developments."

On deadline, Bruker did not respond to a request for comment on the EliTechGroup acquisition.