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Luminex to Pay $75M for MilliporeSigma's Flow Cytometry Research Portfolio

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Luminex announced today that it has agreed to acquire MilliporeSigma's flow cytometry portfolio for $75 million, consisting of about $69.9 million to be paid under a stock and asset purchase agreement and about $5.1 million in committed inventory purchases.

Austin, Texas-based Luminex anticipates that the deal will close by the end of 2018 and could contribute between $40 million and $50 million to its revenues in 2019.  

The acquisition will expand Luminex's existing offering of flow-based detection systems, which is centered around its xMAP multiplexing technology. The xMAP system combines advanced fluidics, optics, and digital signal processing with proprietary microsphere technology to deliver multiplexed assay capabilities.

Luminex said that the deal also extends and diversifies its footprint in life science research and expands its flow-based instrument offering into cellular analysis with the acquisition of MilliporeSigma's Amnis and Guava brands. Amnis is a family of imaging flow cytometry products for cell-based analysis, and Guava high-performance flow cytometry systems leverage microcapillary technologies.

Acquiring the flow cytometry assets of its existing long-term partner MilliporeSigma expands Luminex's "portfolio of detection systems to address researchers interested in cellular analysis," Luminex President and CEO Homi Shamir said in a statement. "This strategic agreement — our first acquisition in the research space — allows us to expand our footprint into the multi-billion-dollar flow cytometry market."

Combining the MilliporeSigma flow cytometry portfolio with the Luminex next generation xMAP system in development positions the company with a "unique portfolio and strong pipeline to address a wide range of research needs for our current and future customers," Shamir added.

MilliporeSigma CEO Udit Batra noted that because of the deal, the firm's team will be able to build on its expertise and introduce more solutions to a broader base. "At the same time, our existing customers will get access to Luminex's respected product portfolio," he added.

On a conference call today to discuss the deal, Luminex CFO Harriss Currie said that the life science research flow market is worth "a little over $1.6 billion in size and growing [at] around mid-single digits per year." The MilliporeSigma flow cytometry business is growing at a slightly higher rate, he said, adding that the clinical flow cytometry market — in which Luminex does not currently play — is worth about $2 billion and is growing at slightly more than 10 percent.

In response to an analyst question during the call, Shamir said that Luminex will study the potential to enter the flow cytometry clinical market and will discuss it with new members of the Luminex management team coming from Burlington, Massachusetts-based MilliporeSigma.

"We have capability to go after the clinical market, but we need to learn about it," he said, adding that a "substantial number" of Luminex's approximately 70 business partners operate in the clinical arena, strengthening its opportunity to enter the clinical flow cytometry space if it decides to do so.

Shamir also noted that with the acquisition of the MilliporeSigma flow cytometry research portfolio, Luminex will obtain a new life sciences sales force. He said that MilliporeSigma likely wanted to sell its flow cytometry research business to a partner rather than to a competitor. The move puts Luminex in direct contact with life science customers when it had previously supplied systems to partners who had that customer connection.

Cantor Fitzgerald acted as financial advisor to Luminex, and Smith, Gambrell & Russell acted as legal counsel to Luminex for the transaction.

In early morning trading on Thursday, shares of Luminex on the Nasdaq were down more than 1 percent at $27.71.