ABB acquires pharmaceutical software technologies

Base Ten solutions expand ABB’s Industrial IT offerings

Zurich, Switzerland, October 12, 2000 – Global technology group ABB announced today it has agreed to acquire the rights and associated research and development resources – so-called strategic pharmaceutical software technologies – from Base Ten Systems Inc. of the U.S.

ABB said it is acquiring Base Ten’s Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) software, which is used while manufacturing pharmaceutical products. The acquisition will significantly expand ABB’s Industrial IT capabilities in this key sector, the company said. ABB is already the world’s leading supplier of industrial automation systems used for chemical synthesis, an early stage of pharmaceutical production. Base Ten’s ME/CS (Pharm2 and Pharmasyst) and Flowstream (FS) products, alongside Base Ten’s international project services team, will provide ABB opportunities to extend its offerings to final “product” pharmaceutical production, added ABB.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Base Ten is headquartered in Trenton, New Jersey, in the United States, and employs some 40 people in its MES-related activities, including an office in Mechelen, Belgium.

Jörgen Centerman, ABB Executive Vice President and head of the company’s Automation segment, said the acquisition builds on ABB’s current expertise in Industrial IT system integration. “We already offer similar solutions in other industries, like pulp and paper,” Centerman added. “Base Ten’s MES technology broadens our
software capabilities in the dynamic pharmaceuticals market so that we can deliver a complete IT solution covering the whole value chain.”

MES systems are used to integrate industrial automation systems on the plant floor with higher level IT systems, like ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and document management systems. In the pharmaceutical industry, MES systems are key to managing the flow of information from raw material supply to putting pills in the bottle. Managing this information effectively is important not only to operational efficiency, but is also needed to quickly meet reporting obligations to regulatory authorities, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

These software technologies are also key to fully integrating all activities inside an enterprise into a single, complete picture of the business that allows managers to make better decisions faster.

Stephen Cloughley, President and CEO of Base Ten Systems Inc. said, “I believe that this acquisition provides our MES customers with the breadth of service and the financial strength they need from their technology provider to fully realize the promise of MES. At the same time, it offers Base Ten’s shareholders the opportunity for a more streamlined and focused organization going forward.”

By expanding into the “finishing” end of the pharmaceuticals manufacturing process, ABB expects to create synergies with other parts of its business, such as robotics and flexible automation. The acquisition also gives ABB a system offering that spans the
entire pharmaceuticals manufacturing process. In addition, ABB can use its global scope and strong existing position in the pharmaceuticals sector to offer this IT solution to a broader customer base. ABB’s total sales in industrial automation for the global pharmaceuticals market is currently about US$ 90 million a year.

The ABB Group ( serves customers in power transmission and distribution; automation; oil, gas, and petrochemicals; building technologies; and in financial services. With novel IT applications, tailored software solutions, growing eBusiness and a fast-expanding knowledge and service base, ABB is building links to the new economy. The ABB Group employs about 160,000 people in more than 100 countries. (End)


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