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Abbott, Alere Agree to Lower Acquisition Price to $5.3B

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Abbott and Alere said today that they have agreed to amend the terms of their acquisition agreement and dismiss lawsuits they had filed against each other.

Under the amended terms, Abbott will pay $51 per share to acquire Alere for a new total price of about  $5.3 billion — reduced from an original purchase price of around $5.8 billion proposed in February 2016 when Abbott announced that it was acquiring Alere.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2017. 

After the deal was originally announced, Alere suffered a series of setbacks that prompted Abbott to seek termination of the acquisition. They included the elimination of billing privileges from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for a substantial Alere division; the permanent recall of an important Alere product platform; a grand jury subpoena from the US Department of Justice over sales practices and dealings in Africa, Asia, and Latin America; and a delay in the filing of Alere's 2015 10-K annual report with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

In August 2016, Alere filed a complaint in Delaware Chancery Court to compel Abbott to fulfill its obligations under the terms of their merger agreement, and to force its would-be acquirer to act promptly in obtaining antitrust approvals.

Then in November, Abbott sued Alere for breach of contract, claiming that it couldn’t get access to documents promised under the pending merger agreement.

Under the amended acquisition agreement, the firms have set a new date, Sept. 30 this year, by which regulatory approvals must be received.

However, as they move closer to completing the acquisition, Alere has an outstanding piece of business to address. In March, the New York Stock Exchange sent it a notice stating that it is not in compliance with continued listing requirements, because it had failed to file its 2016 annual report 10-K in a timely manner.