Accelrys buys Contur for $13M in another electronic lab notebook buyout

Another electronic lab notebook vendor has gone the way of an M&A. San Diego-based R&D software provider Accelrys ($ACCL) said Monday after the market closed that it has bought electronic lab notebook firm Contur Software of Stockholm, Sweden.

Accelrys says that it's paying a total of about $13.1 million to acquire Contur, and that sum includes a $500,000 payout for reaching certain milestones. Contur also had about $600,000 in cash at the closing of the deal. This buyout is expected to expand Accelrys' electronic lab notebook (ELN) offerings, which already includes its "Symyx" ELN system.

As the name suggests, an electronic lab notebook enables scientists to record research data electronically rather than the old way of jotting down results in paper notebooks. The Accelrys-Contur transaction follows Waltham, MA-based PerkinElmer's ($PKI) deal announced last week to purchase ELN vendor Labtronics of Ontario, Canada--and both buyers appear to see a future where such software replaces paper-based records in labs.

"With the addition of Contur's software solutions, Accelrys now offers cost-effective ELNs to meet the range of needs of various scientific research and development teams--from R&D organizations transitioning from paper to an electronic notebook to those requiring a fully integrated electronic lab environment," Max Carnecchia, Accelrys' president and CEO, said in a statement.

Accelrys says that its has hired all key managers from Contur, whose ELN software is used by thousands in the biotech, food & beverage and other sectors.

- here's the Accelrys release