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In Brief This Week: Hologic; GE Capital, Saladax; BD; PerkinElmer Health Sciences; Diaxonhit; More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Hologic said this week it is seeking to amend its senior secured credit facilities in conjunction with a proposed refinancing of its existing secured tranche B term loan. As of July 22, 2013, the outstanding principal on the Term B loan, which has a maturity date of Aug. 1, 2019, is $1.489 billion. Hologic was scheduled to meet with prospective lenders on July 23 related to the credit facility refinancing.

The terms of the credit facility refinancing are expected to include a reduction in the interest rate of the Term B Loan as well as an amendment to the credit facilities' restrictive covenants to increase Hologic's dividend and share repurchase capacity. Hologic said it plans to make a voluntary prepayment of up to $200 million related to the Term Loan B.

Coming on the heels of a change in Hologic's leadership, analysts said the move is aimed at pleasing shareholders by restoring capital. Former CEO Rob Cascella abruptly left the company last week, citing "personal reasons," but the speculation is that the move was made to appease investors who were unhappy about Hologic's stock performance.

Brian Weinstein of William Blair said in a research note that this week's debt refinancing "is in line with what we believe is a renewed strategy from the board to maximize capital available for shareholders, and it is also consistent with management always looking to reduce their interest obligations."

ISI Group's Ross Mulken added, "While we argue that more bold steps are needed, we believe this is a solid start to what likely will be a multistep process to improve shareholder returns."


GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Services has amended its existing $2 million senior secured credit facility to Saladax Biomedical, adding an additional $8 million multidraw loan facility. It also modified the terms of the existing facility, it said. GE Healthcare is the sole lender of the facility, which will be used for working capital by Saladax to support ongoing commercialization efforts and other corporate purposes.


Becton Dickinson's board has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.495 per common share. The dividend is payable on Sept. 30 to shareholders on record as of Sept. 9. The indicated annual dividend rate is $1.98.


PerkinElmer Health Sciences has entered into a $49.5 million purchase and sale agreement to sell its facility in Boston to Senior Housing Properties Trust. Upon the closing of the transaction, PerkinElmer HS will lease the property from SHPT or its designee for an initial term of 15 years. The initial base rent will be $3.1 million per year, with an increase of 2.25 percent each following year. The transaction is expected to close this quarter. PerkinElmer Health Sciences is a wholly owned subsidiary of PerkinElmer.


Specialty diagnostic firm Diaxonhit this week said that revenues for the first six months of 2013 improved 8.2 percent to €15.9 million ($21.1 million) from €14.7 million in the first half of 2012. In vitro diagnostic product sales by the company's commercialization affiliate InGen grew almost 11 percent to €13.6 million from €12.3 million a year ago. Diaxonhit will release its full half-year earnings results in September, it said.


Custom nucleic acid synthesis company Integrated DNA Technologies has expanded its manufacturing capabilities in Singapore, its first synthesis facility in Asia. The S$6 million (US$4.7 million) was completed in the spring. IDT's synthesis and other processes are now fully integrated with its operations in the US and Europe.


Oxford Genetics has secured £150,000 ($230,000) in funding from VC fund manager Mercia Fund Management. The funds will be used for product development and for its e-commerce website. Oxford Genetics provides DNA plasmid vectors to the research community.


In Brief This Week is a Friday column containing news items that our readers may have missed during the week.

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