Spectris in talks to acquire Oxford Instruments

Feb 28, 2022 | Hot Topics

Spectris said today that it is in discussion to acquire Oxford Instruments. Spectris, you may remember, is the parent company of HBM nCode, makers of durability and performance analysis software; ReliaSoft, makers of reliability engineering software and VI-grade, a vehicle and traffic simulation platform. nCode and Reliasoft were acquired to “integrate the entire test and measurement chain … to align the test and simulation process, driving greater innovation and insight from cleaner data and more accurate analysis” and VI-grade because autonomous and assistive techniques are really a very hot specialization of the overall test/simulation loop.

Alongside these software assets are the Spectris brands that make that instruments and test equipment. You’ve probably heard of HBK (fka HBM and Brüel & Kjær) makers of strain, noise, load, torque –you name it– measurement devices; and Malvern Panalytical, makers of chemical, physical, and structural materials analysis tools.

Oxford Instruments brings to this party a scientific focus: spectrometers and other hardware that can “image, analyse and manipulate materials down to the atomic and molecular level.”

In essence, Oxford supports the science of product development and Spectris, the engineering.

What this might mean for Spectris’ CAE brands hasn’t been spoken about — but it seems like a positive development. More sales resources, more workflows to automate, more materials science to embed in simulation, a larger customer base to cross-sell into …

The companies said that discussions are ongoing but that the offer that caused this news to become public knowledge, “is at a price level that it would be minded to recommend to Oxford Instruments shareholders.” I presume we’ll hear more sometime soon.