News | July 6, 1999

Roper Acquires Varlen's Petroleum Analyzer Division

Roper Industries, Inc. (Bogart, GA) has acquired the Varlen Instruments division of Varlen Corp. (Napperville, IL). The business manufactures laboratory and process petroleum analyzers in the United States and Europe. For the 12 months ending April 30, 1999, it reported revenues of $38.3 million. IT acquisition cost approximately $38.7 million, funded from bank credit facilities.

Varlen's petroleum analyzers improve yield, certify products, and monitor regulatory standards for global oil refineries, petrochemical plants, petroleum transporters, and distillate users. Product brand names include Alcor, Walter Herzog GmbH, PetroSpec, and Precision Scientific Petroleum Instruments. Operations are based in Chicago, IL; San Antonio, TX; Boston, MA; and Lauda-Konigshofen, Germany. Additional sales offices are located in France, the UK, and the Netherlands.

Roper has been investing in its analytical instrument division. The early 1998 acquisition of Acton Research Corp. and Photometrics Ltd. boosted division sales 26% (7% on a pro forma basis). The company now has strong capabilities in digital imaging and leak testing equipment.

Roper's ISL oil refinery laboratory equipment business had a poor year in 1998. The acquisition, says Roper president/CEO Derrick Key, offers significant, strategic synergy with Roper's ISL unit. Key says the company will assess restructuring to maximize the potential of the two businesses.

In addition to analytical instruments, Roper Industries also manufactures fluid handling and industrial controls products. Varlen, which sold the operation, has exited the laboratory equipment entirely and now manufactures engineered transportation components.

For more information: Derrick Key, President, Roper Industries, Inc., 160 Ben Burton Rd., Bogart, GA 30622. Phone: 706-369-7170. Fax: 706-353-6496.

By Alan S. Brown