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Law Firm Says Class Action Suit Filed Against Varian

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – A law firm today said that a class action suit has been filed in a California state court challenging Agilent Technologies' proposed $1.5 billion acquisition of Varian.

The firm of Levi & Korsinsky issued a statement after the close of the market on Wednesday saying that the purchase price of $52 per share "appears unfair given that Varian shares traded close to $70 per share in 2008. In addition, the Varian Board agreed to a no-solicitation provision and a $46 million termination fee that will all but ensure that no superior offer will ever be forthcoming."

The high for Varian's stock in 2008 was $68.69, reached on Jan. 17, long before the rapid and wide-ranging decline in the stock market last fall. Varian's high this year is $50.88, which was its closing price on Tuesday this week, while its low was $19.83, reached on March 9.

The law firm did not say whether or not it was the party that had filed the suit.

Agilent announced the deal to acquire Varian in late July. The deal, which is expected to close by the end of this year, will expand Agilent's presence in the life sciences research and applied markets, such as the environment and energy.

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