Hamish Fletcher

Business reporter for the NZ Herald

Merger bulks up Magritek

Technology company is teaming up with German firm but will remain based in Wellington

Magritek was set up by physicist Sir Paul Callaghan in 2004 to commercialise technology that was developed in his laboratory. Photo / APN
Magritek was set up by physicist Sir Paul Callaghan in 2004 to commercialise technology that was developed in his laboratory. Photo / APN

Magritek - the technology company founded by the late New Zealand physicist Sir Paul Callaghan - has merged with a German firm and almost doubled in size.

Wellington-headquartered Magritek has joined forces with ACT, a company based in the German town of Aachen, close to the Belgium border.

Like Magritek, ACT works with portable nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) instruments. These products are used in scientific laboratories but also the oil and gas industry.

The merged company will remain based in Wellington and continue trading as Magritek but now has a combined staff of almost 30, said Magritek chief executive Andrew Coy.

The merger allows the companies to co-ordinate their research and manufacturing and Coy said none of Magri-tek's existing work would shift overseas.

He said the deal created "a formidable team".

"The operation of the two companies will remain as they are and both are growing so we are expecting to bring more people on as we need them," Coy said.

"The big advantage we see is that by being more co-ordinated and working together under one brand and one vision is we'll be able to generate more total customers more effectively than both of us would be able to do as two small companies," he said.

The merged company hoped to "revolutionise" magnetic resonance technology and get it out of the laboratory and into the hands of industry.

"From the beginning, Sir Paul understood the future potential for this technology. New applications are emerging all the time, from oil exploration to pharmaceutical production and molecular analysis," Coy said.

"Sir Paul's vision was to make New Zealand the most exciting and stimulating place to live and work in the world."

Callaghan, a world-renowned physicist, set up Magritek in 2004 to commercialise technology that was developed in his laboratory.

The Victoria University and Oxford University graduate died in March this year, aged 64, after a battle with cancer.

Since the merger Magritek has taken on two Germany-based directors. The combined company is 60 per cent owned by Magritek interests and 40 per cent owned by ACT shareholders.

- NZ Herald

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