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Oxford Instruments Acquires Asylum Research for Up to $80M

ABINGDON, England, and SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Dec. 17, 2012 — UK scientific instrumentation provider Oxford Instruments plc plans to expand its presence in the nanotechnology with the acquisition of California-based microscopy maker Asylum Research Corp. The deal, worth as much as $80 million, was announced Monday.

Founded in 1999 as an employee-owned company, Asylum Research makes scanning probe and atomic force microscopes for academic and industrial customers in materials and bioscience applications. For the 2011 calendar year, it generated $1.1 million in earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) from revenue of $19.6 million. As of Dec. 31, 2011, the company had gross assets of $6.2 million.

Oxford Instruments was the first technology business to be spun out of Oxford University more than 50 years ago. The company will have an initial debt-free, cash-free consideration of $32 million, with a deferred element of up to $48 million payable over three years, dependent on it achieving certain performance goals during that period.

Asylum will remain in Santa Barbara and keep its current management structure, with co-founders Dick Clark, Roger Proksch and Jason Cleveland serving as chief financial officer, president and CEO, respectively.

"The acquisition of Asylum Research significantly increases our footprint in the nanotechnology space and complements our strong position in electron microscopes with a presence in another fundamental nanotechnology measurement technique," said Oxford Instruments Chief Executive Jonathan Flint. "The acquisition also gives us access to the rapidly growing bio-nano market, as it allows customers to perform analysis of organic samples in their natural liquid environments, something which cannot readily be done using electron microscopes."

"Our passion for science has always been at Asylum's forefront," Cleveland said. "Partnering with Oxford Instruments will allow us to do an even better job at bringing instrumentation to scientists for discoveries that will ultimately lead to amazing innovations."

The acquisition is subject to customary conditions of the London Stock Exchange and is expected to be completed before the end of December.

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