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Stratagene Acquires Hycor; New Firm Will Focus on Molecular Dx

NEW YORK, July 24 - Stratagene will acquire Hycor, creating a molecular diagnostics company that will combine Hycor's instrumentation systems and reagents technologies with Stratagene's gene-discovery and target-identification muscle, the firms said today.


Though it must still be approved both firms' shareholders and the Securities and Exchange Commission, the deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter. The acquisition will make Hycor a wholly owned subsidiary of Stratagene.


The new company, which will retain the Stratagene name and headquarters, expects to earn a combined $85 million, and will become profitable in 2004, the firms said.


David Tholen, Hycor president and CEO, will resign as an officer and become a member of the Stratagene board of directors. Reg Jones, currently senior vice president and CFO of Hycor, will become CFO of the new company. Meantime, Stratagene founder and CEO Joseph Sorge will remain president and CEO of Stratagene, and will become a member of a reconstituted board of directors.

Stratagene, based in La Jolla, Calif., manufactures and sells technologies for cell biology, genomics, proteomics, drug discovery, and toxicology. Hycor, based in Garden Grove, Calif., makes automated instruments and reagent systems that use blood samples to test for more than 1,000 different allergies and autoimmune disorders, as well as urinalysis controls and disposable products.

Terms of the merger call for Stratagene to operate a Hycor manufacturing and marketing business, and to continue marketing the company's current product lines under their current brand names. These include KOVA and HY-TEC. The operations team at Hycor is expected to remain in place, both companies said.

Additional terms of the merger call for Hycor shareholders to receive 0.6158 of a share of Stratagene share for each share of Hycor stock. Each fractional share of Hycor stock remaining after the exchange will be paid in cash, the firms agreed.