Vaisala acquires wind lidar expert Leosphere

Vaisala has strengthened its position in remote wind sensing by acquiring Leosphere.

Vaisala is acquiring all the shares in Leosphere, a French company specialising in developing, manufacturing and servicing turnkey wind lidar (light detection and ranging) instruments for wind energy, aviation, meteorology, and air quality for a purchase price (cash and debt free) of €38 million.

The acquisition will be financed partly with cash and partly with interest-bearing debt. This acquisition supports Vaisala’s weather and environment business strategy to drive industry leadership and growth through strengthening its position as a global leader providing remote wind sensing technologies, which are relevant for several Vaisala’s key customer segments.

“Leosphere fits perfectly into Vaisala by complementing Weather and Environment Business Area’s offering in remote wind sensing with its high-end ground-based and turbine-mounted wind lidars,” said Jarkko Sairanen, EVP weather and environment. “Wind lidars are high performance measurement devices, which can detect wind speed and direction accurately, even beyond ten kilometer distance. These instruments complement Vaisala’s current sodar (sonic detection and ranging) offering.”

“In addition, wind lidar technology has exciting opportunities in aviation industry by increasing both safety at landing and take-off as well as optimizing runway capacity at airports. Leosphere’s team brings deep laser and optical remote sensing competences as well as application expertise to Vaisala’s team. Leosphere is a global technology leader in its area and has high R&D focus, just like Vaisala. We are very excited and happy to welcome Leosphere employees to join Vaisala.”

Leosphere’s net sales in 2017 amounted to €27 million and its operating result (EBIT) reached double-digit level. The company sells wind lidars in over 40 countries with a global network of distributors and service providers, and it employs about 125 people. Vaisala will report Leosphere results as part of Weather and Environment Business Area’s financial results after the completion of acquisition in October 2018.

Following this acquisition, Vaisala estimates its full-year 2018 net sales to be in the range of €340-360 million and its operating result (EBIT) to be in the range of €30-36 million. The acquired business is estimated to contribute around €10 million in net sales with around 10% operating profit (EBIT) margin in Vaisala’s fourth quarter 2018. In the fourth quarter, Vaisala estimates to book about €6 million costs consisting of transaction costs and depreciation of intangible assets related to this acquisition.

Going forward, annual depreciation related to this acquisition is estimated to be about €5 million. In its half year financial report, Vaisala estimates its full-year 2018 net sales to be in the range of €330-350 million and its operating result (EBIT) to be in the range of €35-45 million.