06/01/21 – Technology / Inspection / Imaging / Hyperspectral / Vision / Processing / Specim / Konica Minolta

Konica Minolta set to acquire hyperspectral imaging leader Specim
Konica Minolta set to acquire hyperspectral imaging leader Specim

Konica Minolta, Inc. (‘Konica Minolta’) has announced that Konica Minolta Sensing Europe B.V. – its wholly-owned subsidiary for the sensing business, based in the Netherlands – has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Specim, the world’s leading global supplier of hyperspectral imaging solutions. 

Offering the broadest range of hyperspectral cameras, imaging spectrographs, systems, and accessories, Specim is a recognised leader and forerunner in the commercialisation of hyperspectral imaging. Established over a quarter of a century ago, the Finnish firm has assembled a team of the world’s leading engineers in optics, electronics, software, and machine vision to deliver scalable technology that is easy to implement through ‘out of the box’ solutions.

Industrial demand from rising adoption of machine vision

The hyperspectral imaging market is at an inflection point of rapid industrial growth, enabled by the rising adoption of machine vision across a wide array of sectors. More and more machine builders are embracing the benefits of upgrading from visual cameras to hyperspectral imaging, with resulting improvements in quality, productivity and efficiency for their industrial end-customers. 

Specim has capitalised on this dynamic to grow its business, by offering optimised solutions for machine builders as well as for its research and airborne customers.

Specim’s remarkable technological achievements and its global commercial success have so far been supported by its two Finnish investors, Nordic Option (since 2015) and Bocap (since 2017). Both investors welcome Konica Minolta as an acquirer, as this step forms part of a continuum of evolution for Specim.

In the spring of 2020, Specim’s investors and founders felt the company had reached a suitable point of maturity and opportunity, complemented by external interest, and initiated a competitive trade sale process resulting in offers from several global players.

Of these, the Board determined Konica Minolta to be the perfect home for Specim’s technology, customers and employees. “This transaction will fuel Specim’s growth through deployment of its technology and capabilities to global industrial markets under the trusted brand and experienced leadership of Konica Minolta,” the Finnish firm said in a statement.  Upon acquisition, Specim will maintain its existing offices and facilities in Oulu. 

An “innovation leader” with “huge growth potential”

With a 140-year history, Konica Minolta was a pioneer of photo-films and cameras and is now a global leader in imaging, vision and colour measurement. The company has cultivated four core technology fields (imaging, materials, optics and nano-fabrication), and continues to leverage its brand and rich technological heritage to reshape its business model toward higher value, more profitable technology fields and market opportunities.

“I am proud of our founders, world class employees and management team as well as our dedicated investors, who have together brought Specim to this point of market leadership in hyperspectral imaging. Konica Minolta shares our vision and values and will greatly support our business through improved sell-through and reach to global customers markets”, said Tapio Kallonen, CEO of Specim.

Hitoshi Kamezawa, Executive Officer, General Manager of Konica Minolta’s Sensing Business Unit, stated, “In Specim, we saw an innovation leader with a strong commercial product-set that shows huge growth potential just as the market for hyperspectral imaging is taking off. Specim’s products and skillsets are a good fit for our sensing business and will support Konica Minolta’s continued leadership in imaging, vision and colour measurement. Furthermore, Konica Minolta is working on addressing important social-responsibility challenges. Specim’s assets in hyperspectral imaging will significantly contribute to our growth strategy, which expands our business into the fields of safety, security, and environmental sciences. For us, this is one of the most important driving forces.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

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