Halma to pay an eye-watering $100m for opthalmology firm

BRITISH safety and environment technology group Halma has acquired US-based MicroSurgical Technology (MST) in a deal that could cost up to $100m (£61m), the company announced yesterday.

Halma, which makes products such as smoke detectors and door sensors, said MST would continue to be run separately from its own health division. MST makes and markets products used in opthalmic surgery.

Andrew Williams, Halma’s chief, said the acquisition “continues our strategy of focusing on critical products in niche markets with strong growth drivers, expanding our surgical product offering in ophthalmology”.

The cash deal was welcomed by analysts and investors yesterday, with Halma’s shares rising by almost two per cent. Halma will pay $57m originally, and shell out up to $43m extra depending on MST’s performance.

Investec’s Chris Dyett called the deal “an eye opening acquisition”.

“Halma has a very successful and high-margin presence in the Health Optics market and the purchase of MST should enhance this,” Dyett added.