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Beckman Coulter to Buy Biosite for $1.6B; Hopes to Expand Firm's European Presence

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Beckman Coulter plans to acquire diagnostics company Biosite for about $1.55 billion in cash, the companies said this weekend.
Under the deal, Beckman would pay $85 a share for all of Biosite’s common stock, which closed at $55.38 on the Nasdaq Friday.
Beckman, which expects the acquisition will increase its footprint in the immunoassay market, said the deal came from a four-year relationship between the companies based on a test that for coronary syndromes. 
Beckman CEO Scott Garrett said Beckman plans to use Biosite’s international infrastructure to expand sales of its immunoassays. Currently, more than 85 percent of Biosite’s sales are in the US, Garrett said.
Garrett said Beckman expects “significant revenue growth” from sales of Biosite’s cardiac markers, and still expects to achieve its full earnings outlook for 2007, excluding factors related to the purchase.
Biosite, based in San Diego, expanded its European presence last fall when it opened a sales and marketing headquarters in Switzerland. 
Biosite CEO Kim Blickenstaff said the acquisition “will be instrumental in expanding the market opportunity for our Triage family of diagnostic products around the world.”
Recently, Biosite inked a new development and commercialization agreement with Compugen for cardiovascular and oncology diagnostics and biomarkers.
The company also has entered a co-evaluation project with Oxford Genome Sciences to identify proteins from tissue samples from relapsed colorectal cancer patients, and Biosite will have the rights to use the biomarkers to develop a blood-based diagnostic.
Beckman said shareholder approval for the deal is not required, and it expects it to close some time in the second quarter.
Morgan Stanley is serving as Beckman’s financial adviser for the deal.

Shares in Biosite were up 52 percent to $84 in early trading today. Shares in Beckman, meanwhile, were down 6 percent to $62.95.

Also, investment bank Piper Jaffray today downgraded Beckman’s stock to ‘Market Perform’ from ‘Outperform.’


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