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MWG Biotech Will Shutter Array and Automation Units If Buyer Not Found

NEW YORK, Nov. 16 (GenomeWeb News) - MWG Biotech will shutter its microarray and lab-automation business units if a buyer is not found, the company said today.


The news, first reported last week in BioArray News, a GenomeWeb News publication, adds clarity to a statement the German firm made on Oct. 8 in which it said it would try to sell the segments or consider "various separation" options.


MWG had said it is taking the step to focus on its genomic synthesis business, the production of synthetic nucleic acids and oligonucleotides, and DNA sequencing.


The news comes two weeks after MWG said it will slash around 60 percent of its workforce in a further effort to reduce costs.


"Our focusing on the core business proceeds as planned," Wolfgang Pieken, speaker of MWG's management board, said in a statement today. "In the course of the reorganization, 26 jobs have been eliminated in the US, [and] in Germanyapprox[imately] 70 jobs will be terminated [by] the end of the year."


As GenomeWeb News reported last month, MWG said it will "massively reduce its workforce" from 351 to 140 "amid a streamlining of administration and sales structures." The company noted that "service for all international customers remains unaffected."


MWG announced the layoffs along with a drop in revenues for the first nine months of 2004, which fell to to €26.5 million ($33.9 million) from €32.6 million the year before. The company said its DNA sequencing and nucleic acids product businesses contributed €17.9 million in revenues during the first nine months of this year, while the microarrays and lab automation operations generated €8.6 million.


For the first nine months of 2004, MWG posted €6.8 million in losses before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.


MWG said that for the full-year 2004, it anticipates revenues to total €31 million, with a loss before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, and restructuring costs of €9.4 million.

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