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Amersham to Pay Nearly $1B for Pharmacia s Stake in Amersham Biosciences

NEW YORK, March 12 - Amersham on Tuesday said it plans to buy Pharmacia's 45-percent stake in Amersham Biosciences for £704 million, or roughly $992 million.

The transaction, which is subject only to finalization of a definitive contract, will give Amersham full ownership of the business. 

"I am delighted that our shareholders will now be able to participate fully in the future growth of Amersham Biosciences," Sir William Castell, Amersham's CEO, said in a statement. "For the first time we will have the opportunity to share managerial skills and technical competence across the whole of Amersham.

"This will enhance our ability to create value from the emerging possibilities in personalized medicine," Castell added. "The simplified structure will increase our flexibility and speed of decision making." 

To help along the transaction, which is expected to close in one week, Amersham, headquartered in London, will tap existing cash resources and has placed 50 million new ordinary shares, or roughly 7.8 percent of the company's existing share capital.

 

Reaction from investors, who think the deal is too expensive, sent shares in Amersham falling slightly more than five percent to 699 pence in mid-afternoon trading on the London stock exchange.

Amersham Biosciences is based in Piscataway, NJ.

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