IMMCO Diagnostics executives received multiple offers for the Amherst-based medical-testing company, but they accepted Trinity Biotech’s bid because the Irish corporation vowed to maintain and expand IMMCO’s local operations.
Trinity, which has a manufacturing facility in Jamestown, is paying $32.75 million for IMMCO, which was founded in 1971 and has facilities in Amherst, downtown Buffalo and Ontario.
As a Trinity subsidiary, IMMCO will benefit from Trinity’s international sales force and will be better positioned to bring to market its autoimmune-disease diagnostic kits, said William J. Maggio Jr., IMMCO’s president and CEO, who will continue to run IMMCO.
“The reason I selected Trinity was they were the one that made the strongest commitment to Western New York and to growing the company,” Maggio said Friday in an interview, his first public remarks on the acquisition.
IMMCO, which has 90 employees, manufactures diagnostic kits that are used in the testing of blood, skin or tissue samples for autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease and Crohn’s disease. The kits are shipped to hospitals, research centers and laboratories.
The company also does some testing itself, using its own diagnostic kits, of patient samples for doctors, hospitals and national labs, and its contract research division conducts testing as part of clinical trials required for the approval of new drugs.
“We’re doing difficult testing, testing that the big players like Siemens and Abbott aren’t interested in,” Maggio said, referring to Siemens Healthcare and Abbott Laboratories.
Maggio said the potential for growth in this “esoteric diagnostic space” attracted him to IMMCO, which was founded 42 years ago by three University at Buffalo professors.
Maggio started working there in 2004 as vice president of business development, and he and a group of partners, including current Chief Financial Officer Rajnish Mittal, bought out the previous ownership group in 2010 and took control of IMMCO.
“We had a goal to transition the company from an entrepreneurial model to a professionally managed company, in order to position it for sale,” Maggio said.
IMMCO in the first half of this year weighed three serious purchase offers but viewed Trinity’s as the most attractive, he said. The sale closed in late July and was disclosed in documents that accompanied Trinity’s second-quarter earnings report.
Trinity is a maker and developer of diagnostic tools for the point-of-care and clinical laboratory markets, and Maggio said there is some overlap between the companies.
Trinity reported that IMMCO has annual revenues of $12.5 million, mainly generated from outside this country, because the company only recently received federal regulatory approval for some of its diagnostic kits, while selling its products through a network of distributors.
Trinity expects IMMCO’s sales to grow by 20 percent annually thanks in part to exploiting synergies between the two companies’ product lines, leveraging Trinity’s U.S.-based workforce and introducing new technologies now coming out of the development pipeline.
“Due to these factors we expect the IMMCO product line to be a significant driver of growth for Trinity, both from a revenue and profitability point of view,” Ronan O’Caoimh, Trinity’s CEO, said in the company statement.
IMMCO employs about 60 people in manufacturing, administrative and research-and-development functions in Amherst; about 15 people in testing services at the Innovation Center at the downtown Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus; and about 15 people in Burlington, Ont.
Trinity is headquartered in Bray, Ireland, and had 394 employees worldwide as of its April filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company has manufacturing facilities in Jamestown; Kansas City, Mo.; and Carlsbad, Calif.
Trinity bought a 25,610-square-foot facility in Jamestown in 1994 and leases additional space in the city, where it manufactures testing products for infectious and autoimmune diseases, according to the SEC filing.