HILLSBORO, Ore., Feb. 5, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- FEI (Nasdaq:FEIC), a leading instrumentation company providing imaging and analysis systems for research and industry, today announced that it has acquired Lithicon AS of Trondheim, Norway and Canberra, Australia. Lithicon provides leading-edge digital rock technology services and pore-scale micro computed tomography (microCT) equipment to oil and gas companies worldwide. In conjunction with the acquisition, FEI has obtained the helical scan microCT product and associated software from the Australian National University (ANU), through a licensing and development agreement.

"The acquisition of Lithicon and the microCT tool completes our digital rock workflow for the oil and gas market," said Don Kania, president and CEO of FEI. "This will significantly accelerate the growth of our served available market. We will integrate both Lithicon and the microCT product with our automated mineralogy capabilities, our advanced 3D visualization and modeling expertise and our electron microscopy leadership to provide a unique and powerful workflow solution for both conventional and unconventional oil & gas markets. Another important benefit will result from the expansion of microCT equipment sales into our other markets, where we believe there is a large demand for this technology and associated workflows."

"We are very pleased with FEI's acquisition of Lithicon," commented Lithicon Chairman Terje Eidesmo. "After learning more about FEI, its strengths and its plans, we are convinced of the synergies they will provide. CEO Odd Hjelmeland and the team have built Lithicon's technology and business successfully, and we believe this is the right time for us to hand over the reins to FEI."

"Combining with FEI gives Lithicon added financial strength, distribution capabilities and complimentary technical know-how to continue the company's growth," said Victor Pantano, the new general manager of Lithicon. "We believe digital rock technology is a needed breakthrough for the oil and gas industry, and the acquisition by FEI will allow Lithicon to take full advantage of this opportunity."

Lithicon is the result of the 2013 integration of two of the world's leading digital core imaging and analysis companies: Digitalcore Pty Ltd of Canberra, Australia and Numerical Rocks AS of Trondheim, Norway. The company combines Digitalcore's unique core imaging and processing expertise with Numerical Rocks' next-generation multiphase flow modeling capabilities to give it a leadership position in the emerging digital rock analysis market. Numerical Rocks is a 2004 spinoff from Statoil ASA, and Digitalcore was founded in 2009 based on technology developed at the ANU and the University of New South Wales.

The purchase price was $68 million. It was paid for with funds from FEI's European operations which otherwise would be subject to U.S. taxation if repatriated. The acquisition is projected to add approximately 1% to 2% to FEI's revenues for the balance of 2014. FEI expects the acquisition to be accretive to GAAP earnings in 2015 and slightly dilutive to GAAP earnings in 2014.

About FEI

FEI Company (Nasdaq:FEIC) designs, manufactures and supports a broad range of high-performance microscopy workflow solutions that provide images and answers at the micro-, nano- and picometer scales. Its innovation and leadership enable customers in industry and science to increase productivity and make breakthrough discoveries. Headquartered in Hillsboro, Ore., USA, FEI has over 2,600 employees and sales and service operations in more than 50 countries around the world. More information can be found at: http://www.fei.com/" rel="nofollow">www.fei.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

This news release contains forward-looking statements that include statements regarding the expectations for growth in the market opportunity and earnings from the acquisition of Lithicon by FEI. Factors that could affect these forward-looking statements include but are not limited to failure of the digital rock technology market to grow as expected, failure of the products and technology to perform as expected and achieve anticipated results, problems in integrating the operations of Lithicon and FEI, potential intellectual property conflicts over digital rock technology and microCT markets, unexpected technology problems and challenges, failure of the FEI sales and distribution organization to successfully sell new products in new and existing markets and potential disruption from the transfer of technology and manufacturing from its present location to a new location. Investors should also refer to our Form 10-K, Forms 10-Q, Forms 8-K and other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for additional information on these factors and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. FEI assumes no duty to update forward-looking statements.

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