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Bayer Diagnostics Swallows Visible Genetics for $61.4 Million

NEW YORK, July 23-Bayer Diagnostics Division will acquire Visible Genetics for $61.4 million, the two companies said today.


The two companies have signed a definitive agreement whereby Bayer will purchase VGI's outstanding shares at $1.50 per share, a 27 percent premium over yesterday's closing price of $1.18.


In the purchase, Bayer will acquire VGI's Trugene HIV genotyping assay line, the only genetic viral resistance test available for HIV in the U.S. VGI also has hepatitis assays in development. Bayer currently markets HIV and HCV nucleic acid tests that screen for viral variants.


Visible Genetics CEO Richard Daly will stay with Bayer for six months after the transaction closes, in order to facilitate the integration of the two companies.


The plan is subject to shareholder approval. VGI shareholders will vote on the acquisition in October 2002.


With global net sales of $1.8 billion, Bayer Diagnostics has roughly 10 percent of the diagnostics market.


Visible Genetics is based in Toronto, and its main production facility is in Atlanta, Ga.

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