Scientific Instrument Firm Thermo Fisher to Buy FEI for $4.2B

SEATTLE (The Seattle Times/TNS) -

Leading scientific instrument company Thermo Fisher Scientific announced Friday it will buy Hillsboro, Ore.-based FEI Co. for about $4.2 billion in cash.

FEI’s stock price shot up more than 14 percent Friday to close at $108.13 per share after the news was announced. Thermo Fisher will pay $107.50 per share for the company.

The deal is the second-largest sale of a technology company ever in Oregon, according to The Oregonian. TriQuint Semiconductor made news with the largest deal in 2015 when it merged with a competitor.

FEI has more than 3,000 employees globally, and its business, which brought in $930 million in revenue last year, will become part of Thermo Fisher’s analytical instruments division.

FEI designs electron microscopes used to study proteins, a task and technology that lab-equipment giant Thermo Fisher seems eager to expand.

“In life sciences, there is growing adoption of electron microscopy to study the structure of proteins,” Thermo Fisher president and CEO Marc Casper said in a statement. “The technologies we gain with FEI will complement our mass spectrometry leadership, putting Thermo Fisher in the best position to capitalize on this important trend.”

Casper continued that the company is “excited to welcome our new colleagues from FEI to the Thermo Fisher team,” though neither company gave details on how many FEI employees would join the new parent company.