Thermo Fisher says it will buy British research chemicals company Alfa Aesar for about $403M

MarketsAssociated Press

Scientific instruments maker Thermo Fisher will spend $403 million to acquire a Massachusetts research chemicals producer.

Alfa Aesar, which is located about 30 miles north of Boston, is a unit of Johnson Matthey, a British company that makes specialty chemicals. Alfa Aesar makes chemicals used in drug discovery and development, as well as manufacturing. It had about $123 million in revenue in 2014. It has 480 employees.

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Thermo Fisher, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, recorded $16.89 billion in revenue last year. It said Alfa Aesar will become part of its laboratory products and services business, which had $6.6 billion in revenue.

The deal is expected to close by the end the year.

Shares of Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. added $1.40 to $131.67 in morning trading.