Microscan sold to Omron for $157m

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Spectris has sold its code reading business Microscan Systems to Omron for a total cash consideration of $157 million. The acquisition is scheduled for completion in early October 2017.

As of 31 July 2017, the book value of Microscan’s gross assets amounted to approximately £22 million. The company's 2016 adjusted operating profit was approximately £7 million.

Microscan provides machine vision technology and solutions for identification, inspection and verification applications. The firm possesses advanced algorithms for reading codes directly engraved or printed on products, even those with rough, glossy, or curved surfaces.

Through the purchase, Omron will gain various code readers, which it will integrate within its automation technology. Omron has extensive lines of control components and equipment, ranging from image processing sensors and other input devices, to controllers, output devices and safety systems, as well as industrial robots following its acquisition of Adept Technology in 2015. By combining these devices via software, Omron has developed a variety of automation solutions for manufacturers.

The net proceeds from the sale will be used to reduce Spectris’ net debt, according to a statement by Spectris, thereby increasing its financial flexibility for future capital deployment.

Commenting on the transaction, John O’Higgins, chief executive of Spectris, said: ‘This is an important step in focusing Spectris on its areas of strength. Omron is well-aligned strategically with Microscan and as such, we believe that this will be a good home for Microscan in the next phase of its corporate journey.’

In a statement on its website, Microscan says that, in the near term, the company does not expect any significant changes in its daily operations.

Manufacturers are becoming committed to achieving more exacting traceability and enhancing governance regarding product safety. In the pharmaceutical industry, for instance, employment of serialisation systems that mark a separate code on each box of medicine is being promoted to prevent counterfeiting and improve product safety.

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