Vermont biotech company sold in $1.2B deal

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WINOOSKI, Vt. (WCAX) A Vermont-based biotech company has been sold for more than $1 billion.

Winooski-based BioTek produces and sells instruments and software to research and drug labs.

The buyer is Agilent Technologies, a leader in plate-readers and imaging systems based out of California. Agilent signed an agreement to buy BioTek for $1.165 billion.

BioTek has 500 employees, 300 of whom work in Winooski. Our Olivia Lyons asked the companies and an employee what this sale means for workers.

When BioTek and Agilent began discussing combining their companies, they already had proof they work well together. BioTek's Vermont employees and Agilent's Massachusetts workers have already successfully collaborated.

"BioTek has been on a great grow trajectory. We only think it's going to accelerate between the combination of the two companies together. So with growth comes new opportunities, comes new employment," said Mike McMullen, the CEO and president of Agilent.

Agilent is investing in quickly changing life science technology, specifically in cell analysis, an area BioTek is exploring to find new ways to treat cancer and other diseases.

Briar Alpert is the president and CEO of BioTek. He says this an exciting growth opportunity and ensures no one from BioTek will lose their jobs as part of this sale.

"There are going to be no workforce reductions as part of this transaction. Agilent has not just in their words but in their actions demonstrated a commitment to Vermont," Alpert said.

Thursday afternoon, BioTek's Winooski workers got to learn more about the deal. An open forum allowed workers like Rodney Rushlow to ask questions. Rushlow was nervous at first but now sees this as a positive change.

"Just speaking with the CEO of Agilent for the hour meeting that we had, he seems very trustworthy and very family-oriented," Rushlow said.

BioTek has been run by the Alpert family for the past 50 years.

The deal is expected to close in the next few months.

McMullen tells WCAX News that acquiring BioTek will bring them about $250 million in business and they expect continuous growth from there.