Danaher completes acquisition of XRite

May 20, 2012
| By Pete Daly |
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The planned acquisition of X-Rite Inc. of Kentwood by Danaher Corp. of Washington, D.C., has been completed, according to an announcement by Danaher last week.

On April 17, Danaher's wholly-owned subsidiary, Termessos Acquisition Corp., made a tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of common stock of X-Rite for $5.55 per share. X-Rite stock was trading at $4.43 per share just before the announcement about Danaher on April 10. The deal is reportedly worth $625 million.

According to Danaher, Termessos will establish a short-form merger with X-Rite, with X-Rite continuing as the surviving corporation in the merger and as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Danaher.

Thomas J. Vacchiano Jr., CEO of X-Rite, said Danaher has “indicated to me and the X-Rite team that we will continue to operate as an independent operating company and that our headquarters in Grand Rapids would continue. And they offered our senior leadership team to continue to play a role as well. I would say for the majority of our employees around the world, it will be pretty much business as usual at the outset.”

Vacchiano said in April merging with Danaher “enhances X-Rite’s ability to achieve our growth goals while realizing a significant and immediate all-cash premium for X-Rite stockholders. Danaher’s global scale, market presence and resources will allow X-Rite to accelerate our growth, particularly for our key strategic initiatives like PantoneLIVE and Appearance solutions. As part of Danaher, X-Rite will be able to expand our access to new markets and complementary technologies.”

According to Vacchiano, X-Rite has close to 900 employees at its locations around the world, with about 450 of them in Kentwood.

Danaher is a $16 billion science and technology corporation that provides products and services to professional, medical, industrial and commercial customers in more than 125 countries. It has approximately 59,000 employees.

X-Rite’s sales in 2011 were up nearly 7 percent compared to 2010, after having lost money during the worst quarters of the recession in 2008 and 2009. Annual sales are now in excess of $250 million.

“Our sales are moving in a good direction, year over year,” said Vacchiano. “We continue to generate fairly healthy levels of EBITDA-adjusted margin, and we also reported fairly good net income.

“X-Rite is a healthy company, and we expect to be even healthier as we operate within the Danaher family of companies,” he added.

Kentwood officials are hoping the merger will produce a stronger X-Rite that will keep calling the city home.

“As Danaher is not a competitor (to X-Rite), we are hopeful they’re simply trying to acquire a successful company to be part of their portfolio,” said Rich Houtteman, Kentwood’s deputy administrator, adding city officials “hope that X-Rite continues to prosper here in Kentwood.”

Organized by several Lear Siegler engineers in 1958, X-Rite’s first product was x-ray marking tape. In 1968, the growing company introduced equipment to recover silver from x-rays, and in 1975 it introduced its first densitometer for photographic printing. Color is the focus of X-Rite today. Its products help manufacturers, retailers, distributors, printers and graphic designers achieve a consistent color appearance, according to the company.

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