Agilent Buying Varian for $1.5 Billion

The purchase will expand Agilent's product portfolio into atomic and molecular spectroscopy and imaging and vacuum technologies.

Agilent Technologies Inc. announced on Monday it had agreed to purchase Varian Inc., a rival maker of scientific instruments, for $1.5 billion, or 52 dollars a share. The boards of directors of the two California-based companies have approved the all-cash purchase, which is expected to close before the end of the year, they said in a joint statement. "This acquisition is a major step in Agilent's transformation into a leading bio-analytical measurement company," Agilent President and CEO Bill Sullivan said. The purchase, the companies said, will expand Agilent's product portfolio into atomic and molecular spectroscopy and imaging and vacuum technologies. "We each bring expertise and experience across a different but complementary set of markets and applications," Varian Chairman and CEO Garry Rogerson said. "For instance, while Agilent is a leader in food safety, Varian is well established in the energy industry, and has a broad spectrum of products for environmental analysis." Agilent's bio-analytical measurement business allows customers to identify, quantify and analyze the physical and biological properties of substances and products. Varian, which has a workforce of some 3,600 people, makes scientific instruments and vacuum technologies for life science, environmental, energy, and applied research and other applications. Palo Alto-based Varian employs some 3,600 people worldwide and had revenue of $1 billion in fiscal 2008. Santa Clara-based Agilent has some 19,000 employees and had revenue of nearly 5.8 billion dollars in fiscal 2008. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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