While announcing half year profits of £20.6m Oxford Instruments said it was looking at acquisitions “that share routes to market … and offer opportunities for growth in the Nano-Bio market”.
Its statement to shareholders went on: “As announced this morning, one avenue we are exploring is through the potential acquisition of Andor, a UK based high-technology company specialising in the manufacture of high-end scientific cameras, microscope systems and analytical software for the material and life science industries. Andor’s technology would extend our capability into the optical domain, which is the primary technology used for analysing biological samples at the nano scale.”
In response, Andor said it had first received an indicative cash offer from Oxford Instruments in July and since then had co-operated with Oxford Instruments in the provision of commercial and financial due diligence and held a number of face-to-face meetings which had resulted in a 19% increase in the indicative cash offer price per share to 500p. During that time Andor’s share price has increased by over 30%.
However, a statement to the London Stock Exchange went on: “The Board of Andor is disappointed that, having only made the indicative proposal on 8 November, Oxford Instruments has chosen to make today’s announcement, which the Board of Andor considers to be premature and unhelpful in light of ongoing discussions. Given the level of uncertainty and conditionality, the Board of Andor felt that it could not properly consider the proposal, but it did confirm to Oxford Instruments that it remained willing to continue discussions to explore whether a definitive, acceptable offer might be found that was in the interests of Andor shareholders.”
Copyright Ken Hurst 2013