Report: Danaher nears $30M buyout of computer-aided imaging business

Danaher ($DHR) has signed a letter of intent to buy Israeli computer-aided imaging player Applied Spectral Imaging for $30 million, according to Globes. The deal would give acquisition-hungry Danaher a way into the market for hardware and software to bolster the imaging capabilities of research labs.

ASI spun out of a military equipment business with spectral imaging technology in 1993, before going on to home in on the applications of its capabilities in research laboratories 7 years later. The pivot was accompanied by an $11 million VC round that took ASI's total financing haul up to $26 million and valued the business at $60 million. Since then, ASI has continued to push to get its tools into genetic research labs but hasn't returned to investors for cash, with an aborted plan to IPO in 2010 the closest it has got to restocking its financial armory.

Danaher has yet to publicly express an interest in the company, but anonymous sources quoted by the Israeli newspaper Globes say it is nearing a deal. The acquisition would barely make a dent on the finances of Danaher--it is currently finalizing a $13.8 billion takeover of Pall ($PLL)--but would give its life sciences business another set of products to sell to research labs. Danaher is currently working toward a split of its business, after which its life sciences department will operate independently of the industrial unit on which the early success if the company was based.

If the takeover of ASI goes ahead, the Israeli company will bring something new to the mix. The firm has a suite of hardware and software products based around the idea of enhancing imaging, from the HyperSpectral tool that enables labs to define the chemical composition of biological specimens, to digital pathology products that have picked up regulatory approvals for use in scoring the cancer growth factor HER2.

- read Globes' article