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Qiagen Acquires Japanese Nucleic Acid Maker for $18 Million

NEW YORK, April 24 – Qiagen has acquired Sawady, a Japanese maker of nucleic acids, in return for $18 million of Qiagen common stock, the companies said Tuesday.

The Sawady group of Tokyo, comprises three companies, Sawady Technology, Omgen, and a majority in Accord company, but operates as a single organization employing 40 people. 

Qiagen has issued to Sawady 854,987 shares of its common stock. It expects to incur an after-tax charge of $3 million relating to this acquisition, but said it expects the acquisition to immediately increase the company’s net income per share.

This acquisition of Sawady is intended to augment the activities of Qiagen’s existing Japanese subsidiary, in order to capture the Japanese market for nucleic acids, which it believes is the second largest in the world. Qiagen hopes to combine Sawady’s nucleic acid making expertise with the technologies of U.S.-based nucleic acid maker Operon, which it acquired in June 2000, Qiagen said. 

"We believe that Qiagen can greatly accelerate the creation of a leading position in Japan for our synthetic nucleic acid products with which we have already created a market and technology-leading position in the United States," said Qiagen CEO Metin Colpan, in a statement. " Our Japanese subsidiary, which we opened in 1998 for the full range of our products, built this market into one of the largest for Qiagen, second only to the revenue contribution we generate in the United States."

Sales of nucleic acids, including oligonucleotides, synthetic genes and similar products, contributed 10 percent to Qiagen’s revenues in 2000, or over $204 million. Qiagen said it believes the market for nucleic acids is rapidly expanding.

In morning trading on the Nasdaq Tuesday, Qiagen’s common stock was selling at $25.35 per share, up 6.33 percent from it’s Monday close of 23.84.


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