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ATS Automation to acquire Italian pharmaceutical equipment supplier Comecer


December 21, 2018
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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December 21, 2018 – ATS Automation Tooling Systems, the Cambridge, Ontario–based automation solutions provider, will acquire Comecer S.p.A., an Italian design and engineering firm for processing systems in the nuclear medicine and pharmaceutical industries, for EUR 113 million.

“Comecer is a proven, high-quality business that brings new and complementary capabilities, customer relationships and specialized talent to ATS,” says Andrew Hider, CEO of ATS. “Its addition will strengthen our customer offering in both pharma and biopharma, while adding an innovative new platform in radiopharmaceuticals. These are growing markets with desirable characteristics including stringent quality standards and regulations and where there is a high consequence of failure. We look forward to welcoming Comecer to the ATS family.”

Comecer generates approximately 55 per cent of its annual sales to customers in the radiopharmaceutical market, where it supplies specialized radiation shielding systems used by customers in the production, handling and dispensing of radiopharmaceutical drugs. Applications for this type of equipment include the diagnosis and therapeutic treatment of a number of conditions including various forms of cancer and cardiovascular disorders.

The balance of Comecer’s sales are derived from equipment to support the aseptic processing, filling and handling of specialized pharmaceuticals as well as isolator and incubator equipment used in advanced therapy medicinal production (ATMP), a regenerative cell therapy that uses patient cells to grow new tissues.


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Comecer was established in 1974, and today has approximately 320 employees, the majority of whom work at its main production site in Castel-Bolognese, Italy. The main production site is the home of Comecer’s research and development centre. Comecer also has a technical and assembly centre in Joure, Netherlands, and sales and service offices in North America, Europe and Asia.

ATS Automation specializes in custom automation, repeat automation and automation products across a variety of industries. Founded in 1978, ATS employs approximately 3,900 people at 21 manufacturing facilities and over 50 offices in North America, Europe, Southeast Asia and China.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019.