Siemens snaps up OMT for £9.1 million

Siemens announced today that it is to acquire 49 per cent of Oxford Magnet Technology from Oxford Instruments in a deal worth £9.1 million.

Siemens and Oxford Instruments announced today that Siemens is to acquire the remaining 49 per cent of Oxford Magnet Technology from Oxford Instruments in a deal worth £9.1 million.

Siemens currently owns 51 per cent of Oxford Magnet Technology (OMT) and is exercising its right under a joint venture agreement to acquire Oxford Instruments’ share of the company. The transaction is subject to formal regulatory approval under German competition law.

Oxford Magnet Technology was founded in 1982 by Oxford Instruments to commercialise its proprietary technology for magnets and accessories used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) bodyscanners.

In 1989, it became a joint venture between Siemens (51%) and Oxford Instruments (49%). OMT now employs 700 people at its factory in Eynsham, near Oxford, and is said to be a world leader in superconducting MRI magnets.

Siemens had already indicated that it would exercise its right under the joint venture agreement to increase its shareholding when the initial 15-year term of the joint venture ends in September 2004. Following a review of priorities for future development of their respective activities, both shareholders agreed it was in their mutual interests to terminate the joint venture and accelerate Siemens’ acquisition of the business.

As part of the agreement, key trading relationships between Oxford Instruments, OMT and Siemens will continue, covered by extended long-term contracts. Oxford Instruments will continue to supply Siemens with superconducting wire, specialised field support in the USA and distribution services in Japan relating to MRI magnets.

Siemens will retain the right to use certain pre-existing Oxford Instruments technology and know-how for MRI applications whilst Oxford Instruments will retain the right to use intellectual property developed by OMT during the period of the joint venture.