The family that founded one of Vermont’s largest tech firms has reached a blockbuster deal to sell it to a publicly traded California company.
Agilent Technologies, a Silicon Valley spinoff of Hewlett-Packard, plans to acquire Winooski-based BioTek Instruments for $1.165 billion this fall, the two companies announced Thursday morning.
The late Norman Alpert, a University of Vermont professor of physiology and biophysics, founded BioTek in a Charlotte garage in 1968.
“We have accomplished extraordinary things,” said Alpert's son, BioTek president and chief executive officer Briar Alpert. “I think we got to a point where, to make the next step — to really become a true, global leader — we needed to partner with someone who had a reach and a scale … to take BioTek to the next level.”
The Vermont company, which designs and manufactures life science instrumentation used in research and medical settings, had revenues of $162 million in 2018 and expects to grow by 10 percent this year, it said in a statement. BioTek employs 500 people worldwide, 300 of whom work out of its Tigan Street headquarters in Winooski.
Representatives of both companies said the deal would not imperil Vermont jobs.
“Agilent is committed to continuing operations in Vermont and retaining the great team of nearly 500 employees that have been at the core of BioTek’s 50-year history of excellence and success,” Agilent president and chief executive officer Mike McMullen said in a statement.