BD to buy Accuri for undisclosed sum

Becton, Dickinson has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Accuri Cytometers, an Ann Arbor, MI-based company that develops and manufactures personal flow cytometers for researchers. And this isn't the first time BD has made an acquisition in Ann Arbor. The company established a presence in the city last year by acquiring HandyLab for $275 million.

Accuri, a University of Michigan spinoff, makes desktop instruments that silently automate cell analysis for researchers, Crain's Detroit Business reports. The acquisition is expected to close during the third quarter of fiscal year 2011. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"Accuri Cytometers' offering of flow cytometers for a new audience of researchers will complement and broaden BD's current offerings for life scientists," said Vincent Forlenza, BD president and COO. "We believe that, once completed, this acquisition will enable BD to further contribute to medical and scientific advances, in line with our corporate purpose of helping all people live healthy lives."

Despite the positive news, there could be some fears that BD may shutter Accuri's Scio Township operation, which employs about 85 workers, reports. Subsequent to its HandyLab buy, BD announced in October 2010 it would close HandyLab's Pittsfield operation by summer 2011.

As Xconomy notes, that didn't set well with Michiganders, especially with the state hurting for high-tech jobs. "I've seen a lot of companies bought for a lot of money, but that's about it," says Scott Merz, president of MC3, an Ann Arbor-based medical device incubator.

But Tim Petersen, managing director of Arboretum Ventures and a member of Accuri's board, described the deal as a "great outcome." Petersen's firm also invested in HandyLab, but said he was optimistic that Accuri would not meet the same fate, notes. "I think there's a tendency for people to be more skeptical and rightly so," Petersen said. "We just have a much more substantial manufacturing operation here. We're further along in the commercialization. It's my understanding that there should be more optimism."

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