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PerkinElmer Shares Spike amid Report it May be Seeking a Buyer

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Shares of PerkinElmer rose as much as 9 percent today amid a report that the company could be looking for a buyer after losing its bid to purchase Beckman Coulter.

About an hour before the market closed Thursday, PerkinElmer's shares were up 6 percent at $27.47 on the New York Stock Exchange, after climbing as high as $28.37 earlier in the day. The shares spiked after Bloomberg News, citing unnamed sources within PerkinElmer, reported that the company is considering putting itself up for sale or making a major acquisition after being outbid by Danaher for Beckman Coulter in a deal valued at $6.8 billion.

A PerkinElmer spokesman did not respond to requests for comment from the company.

During PerkinElmer's recent earnings conference call, Chairman and CEO Robert Friel said that the company has a "solid and expanding pipeline of potential acquisition targets that we're actively engaged [in] and reviewing. Our acquisition priorities are to build out the breadth and footprint of our [perinatal] markets with particular emphasis in broadening our offerings in services, reagents, consumables, and software."

His comments came just three days before Danaher announced its agreement to buy Beckman Coulter.

According to Bloomberg, the Waltham, Mass.-based life science tools, diagnostics, and healthcare firm, lost out in its bid to buy Beckman Coulter in the final hours of the process, as Danaher trumped PerkinElmer's offer by $.25 per share. Danaher's final offer was $83.50 per share, topping PerkinElmer's bid of $83.25 per share.

In a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month, Beckman Coulter also said that in addition to the better offer price, it agreed to the Danaher bid because of its "substantially higher certainty of closing," lower breakup fee in the event of a superior offer, better structure as a tender offer allowing for a quicker closing, and other factors.

According to the filing, Danaher first approached Beckman Coulter in September about its interest in buying the company. PerkinElmer, which is identified as "Potential Purchaser #3" in the filing, initially told Beckman Coulter in November of its desire "to explore a possible strategic transaction," though it did not make a specific offer.

PerkinElmer had lined up $7 billion in financing to acquire Beckman Coulter, according to Bloomberg. Bank of America served as advisor to PerkinElmer in the bidding process and the two continue to work together as they explore what steps PerkinElmer should take next, if any.

Earlier this month, the company reported $1.7 billion in 2010 revenues, a 10 percent increase year over year. As part of its effort to build out its molecular diagnostics portfolio, in January, it made its first foray into the next-generation sequencing space with the launch of its sequencing and data analysis service.

Last week, PerkinElmer announced the acquisition of nucleic acid isolation firm Chemagen Biopolymer-Technologie for an undisclosed amount.

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