Colour measurement firm X-Rite Incorporated is to extend its reach in the colour industry after agreeing to buy Pantone Inc for $180m. The deal is expected to close this autumn.

Pantone, headquartered in Carlstadt, New Jersey, sells its Pantone Matching System to industries including fashion and interiors in more than 100 countries, where it can help identify, match and communicate colours across the supply chain.

Pantone generated revenues of approximately $42m in 2006, and will become a new business unit within X-Rite. Current Pantone leaders will continue to play key roles in the organisation the companies said in a statement.

X-Rite says it plans to add Pantone's colour standards to its hardware, software and services, and that the transaction is likely to be accretive to X-Rite's cash earnings per share during year two of the combined operations.