By Lisa Ma
EliTech Group, Puteaux, France, a distributor of management software, has acquired the majority of the shares of Wescor Inc, Logan, Utah, maker of the Vapro Vapor Pressure Osmometer, and Sweat-Chek cystic fibrosis diagnostic technology.
“EliTech provides a lot of synergetic energy,” says Wayne Barlow, president and CEO of Wescor,, “It was a strategic acquisition, and already we are achieving some of our goals.”
Although Barlow will continue to be president and CEO of Wescor, he will also assume a more global position as the chief science and technology officer at EliTech.
“One of the things we’ve achieved is an avenue for me to exit without putting too much financial strain on the company,” says Barlow who has lead the company for more than 4 decades. In 1966, 14 engineering and physics faculty members from the University of Utah and Utah State University developed a company specializing in aerospace technology, operating primarily as a US government contractor. Block Engineering owned the company briefly, before, in 1970, Barlow and others bought the company back and changed its name to Wescor. In 1972, Wescor entered the laboratory market with its first lab product: a vapor pressure osmometer. With the product’s success, Wescor began developing other products for the clinical laboratory market.
“Wescor will pretty much remain the same in North America,” Barlow says of the acquisition, “The legacy of Wescor products will continue. However, we will have a new stable of Elitech products; that alone will double our sales.”
Since 1998, EliTech has been one of Wescor’s most important foreign distributors. The company was the first French independent distributor in the medical biology market, and is currently the largest independent distributor of in vitro diagnostic products in France, and the owner of its own biochemistry and microbiology reagent manufacturing facilities and subsidiaries in several European countries. Other partners of EliTech include DiaMondial, MW&E, Salubris Inc, and Coris BioConcept.
“What EliTech gains is engineering and manufacturing capabilities that they don’t have in Europe.” Barlow says, “They’ve acquired an efficient avenue to selling in the United States market.”
EliTech President Pierre Debiais said in a press release: “We are delighted with the acquisition of Wescor, which should enable us to expand our competencies to the field of engineering and manufacturing for specialized clinical lab equipment, complementary to our current clinical reagent manufacturing expertise, and provide us with a strong sales development platform for our own products in the United States.”