Ametek to acquire Mocon for $182m, expanding into the F&B package testing market

The OX-TRAN 2/12 oxygen permeation instrument. Picture: Mocon.

Ametek has agreed to acquire Mocon for $182m, with the deal expected to close in Q2, 2017.  

Mocon, based in Minneapolis, US, sells laboratory equipment to research laboratories, production facilities and quality control departments in the food and beverage industry among others.

Greenlight detection

DairyReporter reported last year Mocon had launched a yeast and mold test method for dairy applications called the GreenLight detection platform, which reduces testing times by up to 80% compared to agar plate methods, enabling dairies to release product in 18 hours.  

The test method boosts capabilities in total viable count (TVC) and “indicator organisms” for bacteria, using its oxygen-depletion sensor and automated reader.

Yeast and mold is common in yogurts, due to contamination of fruits that add flavor, or due to packaging deficiencies, but less common in liquid milk. 

In January, Mocon launched OX-TRAN 2/12 oxygen permeation instrument for brand owners, film manufacturers and converters who either use or sell flexible materials for produce applications.

Unlike many other food products, which require higher barrier films to extend shelf life, produce has a much shorter shelf life and it requires higher transmitter materials that can breathe to prevent premature spoilage,” said Ryan Holland, product manager, permeation, Mocon, at the time. 

Not having a good handle on your material transmission rates can result in shelf life of a couple of days vs. a couple of weeks that is necessary for the packer-to-consumer lifecycle. For example, a film batch that is off by 10% could have a devastating impact on an already narrow shelf life window.”

Long-term benefits

Speaking of the merger with Ametek, Robert Demorest, CEO, Mocon, said the transaction will provide long-term benefits for its customers and employees.

"By joining a larger global enterprise, Mocon will have the resources to expand its gas analysis products and technologies,” he said. 

Mocon reported sales of approximately $63m for the calendar year ending December 31, 2016.

"MOCON is an excellent company that has tremendous synergy with Ametek," said David Zapico, CEO, Ametek. 

"They are the global leader in gas analysis instrumentation for package and permeation testing. Its products and technologies complement our existing gas analysis instrumentation business and provides us with opportunities to expand into the growing food and pharmaceutical package testing market." 

Pennsylvania, US, based Ametek manufactures electronic instruments and electro-mechanical devices with annual sales of approximately $4bn. Its corporate growth plan is based on operational excellence, strategic acquisitions, global and market expansion and new products. 

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