Mergers in vision, brewing, instrumentation

In recent merger and acquisition activities, Cognex acquired an in-vehicle vision firm; GEA purchased Huppmann; and Thermo Electric and Fisher Scientific agreed to combine. Cognex Corp. moves into the emerging in-vehicle machine-vision systems field with its purchase of AssistWare Technology Inc., a privately held developer of lane departure warning (LDW) systems for the heavy truck market.

07/01/2006


In recent merger and acquisition activities, Cognex acquired an in-vehicle vision firm; GEA purchased Huppmann; and Thermo Electric and Fisher Scientific agreed to combine.

Cognex Corp. moves into the emerging in-vehicle machine-vision systems field with its purchase of AssistWare Technology Inc., a privately held developer of lane departure warning (LDW) systems for the heavy truck market. The equipment uses a small video camera and machine vision technology to watch the road ahead and alert drivers if they unintentionally leave a lane or their driving pattern becomes erratic. The in-vehicle market for machine vision is "a large and exciting one," says Cognex, and includes many potential applications beyond LDW, such as collision warning, blind spot detection, headlight dimming and aiming, and adaptive cruise control. The technology uses highly specialized sensors to provide driver assistance by constantly analyzing a vehicle's external environment and warning of potentially dangerous situations. First target is the heavy truck market (nearly 300,000 heavy trucks sold per year in the U.S.). Terms were undisclosed. Cognex anticipates it will continue to develop, support, and market the LDW technology. It will retain AssistWare employees and current offices in Gibsonia, PA. AssistWare's founder, Dr. Dean Pomerleau, a recognized expert in this field, will join Cognex and lead R&D activities in this area.

GEA Group AG expects to strengthen the brewery business unit of its Process Engineering Division with acquisition of the Huppmann Group AG. Huppmann is a global supplier of equipment to the brewery industry and a leading brew-house specialist. GEA Group will now be able to meet all the process engineering requirements of the international brewing industry, the company says, in both hot and cold segments. The parties to the deal have agreed not to reveal the purchase price.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., with more than $9 billion in revenues and $1 billion in cash flow in 2007, is the expected new name for the merged Thermo Electron Corp. and Fisher Scientific International Inc. A joint announcement made by the companies says boards of directors at each unanimously approved a definitive agreement to combine the companies in a tax-free, stock-for-stock exchange. The companies offer instrumentation, life science consumables, software, and services. The combined company will employ about 7,500.





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