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Becton, Dickinson to Sell Clontech Unit; No Buyer Named

NNEW YORKEW YORK, Oct. 4 (GenomeWeb News) - Becton, Dickinsonplans to sell its Clontech business, the company said today.

BD is taking this step because it wants to "focus its strategy on cell analysis, discovery labware and its new platforms of imaging and in vitro drug metabolism/toxicity testing," Edward Ludwig, chairman, president and CEO of BD said in a statement.

The planned sale "also allows us to direct our resources toward higher-growth opportunities in the pharmaceutical drug discovery arena," Ludwig added.


It was not immediately clear when BD planned to sell the unit, or whether it had a buyer. BD said it expects to divest it during its fiscal second quarter, which ends March 31, 2005.

BD estimates that the Clontech unit will have generated approximately $60 million in revenues in fiscal 2004, which ends Sept. 30. BD also said the sale will cause it to record $125 million in pre-tax charges in its fiscal fourth quarter. Clontech's fiscal 2005 financial results would have been comparable to fiscal 2004 results, BD said.


The company has hired Goldman Sachs to be its financial advisor for the divestiture.


BD will report its fiscal 2004 earnings in Nov. 4. Revenue for the three months ended June 30 were flat at $8 million year over year.

The planned sale comes two months after BD Biosciences, another Becton, Dickinson business division, bought Atto Bioscience in a cash transaction valued at approximately $25 million. Clontech is a unti within BD Biosciences.


Atto is a high-content cell analysis imaging tools developer with sales of $3 million in 2003. As GenomeWeb News  reported in July, BD is buying the firm with the goal of integrating Atto's imaging platforms and BD's flow cytometry tools, the company said.

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