Heysham chemicals firm bought for £256m

Heysham-based chemicals specialist Alfa Aesar has been bought by Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc of Massachusetts.

AlfaThe New York Stock Exchange-listed firm has agreed a cash deal worth £256m with the current owners Johnson Matthey of Clitheroe.

Alfa Aesar has 480 employees and operates in key research hubs in the United States, Germany, China, South Korea and India. The business generated sales of approximately £78m in 2014.

Marc N Casper, president and chief executive officer of Thermo Fisher Scientific, said: “The acquisition of Alfa Aesar enhances our existing portfolio of chemicals, solvents and reagents to support virtually every laboratory application – from research, to drug discovery and development, to production.

“In addition, customers will benefit from greater access to these products through our extensive global commercial reach.”

The transaction, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2015, is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. Alfa Aesar will be integrated into Thermo Fisher’s Laboratory Products and Services Segment. Julie Butterfield, global general manager of Alfa Aesar, added: "I believe this is an exciting step in the further growth of our business and we look forward to working with Thermo Fisher Scientific in the future."