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Maker of lab freezers is sold for $31M Summerville’s Horizon Scientific says deal with Standex will help it grow faster

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A Summerville-based maker of specialty refrigerators, freezers and cryogenic equipment has been sold to a New England company in a deal valued at $31 million.

Standex International Corp. announced the all-cash purchase of Horizon Scientific Inc. on Tuesday.

The deal will allow the Varnfield Drive product developer and manufacturer to reach its growth goals “faster than we could as an independent company,” founder and CEO Greg Deutschmann said.

The Berkeley County company sells its cold-storage devices to customers in the biomedical and pharmaceutical markets. It reported sales of about $28 million over the past year.

“We now have access to much broader engineering and manufacturing capabilities, which will enable us to deliver product ideas and customer solutions more quickly,” Deutschmann said in a statement. “Our longstanding relationships in the pharma, biotech, hospital, medical school and government industries make Horizon Scientific and Standex a great strategic fit.”

The company sells products under the American BioTech Supply, Lab Research Products and CryoSafe brand names.

According to its LinkedIn profile, Horizon Scientific was founded in 1994 and operates a 100,000-square-foot plant. Standex said the business will remain in Summerville.

Deutschmann could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

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Salem, N.H.-based Standex said it expects its newly acquired South Carolina business to increase its earnings by a penny to 2 cents a share for the 2017 fiscal year, which began June 30, and by 7 to 9 cents the following 12 months.

“Horizon Scientific enhances Standex’s penetration of the higher-margin refrigeration markets represented by the growing scientific sector,” Standex CEO David Dunbar said in a prepared statement.

Dunbar also said Horizon Scientific’s products are “well respected” and that the acquisition would help expand sales of commercial-grade refrigeration equipment that the New England company makes under the NorLake Scientific name.

“Horizon Scientific brings us an experienced management team and we welcome the opportunity to build a stronger position in these key markets together,” he said.

Standex describes itself as a multi-industry manufacturer that specializes in five business lines: food service equipment, engineering technologies, engraving, electronics and hydraulics. The publicly traded company has about 5,300 employees and operations in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, South Africa, India and China.

Sales at Standex for its last fiscal year totaled $752 million.

Contact John McDermott at 843-937-5572.

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