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Beckman Coulter to Issue $500M in New Debt for Olympus Dx Acquisition

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Beckman Coulter today said that it would pay for the $800 million acquisition of Olympus' diagnostics business through a combination of around $300 million in Beckman Coulter stock and $500 million in newly issued debt.

The firm finished the year with roughly $120 million in cash and cash equivalents and around $900 million in long-term debt. However, Beckman said today that it does not anticipate a change in its current investment grade ratings.

In a research note this morning, Thomas Weisel Partners analyst Peter Lawson wrote, "We believe Beckman has significant cash flow to fund the debt."

The acquisition provides Beckman with an expanded clinical chemistry offering with particular strength in the larger hospital laboratories. The firm also said that it expects the Olympus business to provide revenues of around $500 million in 2010.

"Customers will benefit from the expanded range of products, particularly those large hospital and university laboratories where higher throughput systems are preferred," Beckman Coulter Chairman, President, and CEO Scott Garrett said in a statement. "In addition, Beckman Coulter's strength in total lab automation will be complemented by Olympus' strong pre-analytical automation position in Europe and Asia."

In late Friday morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange, shares of Beckman Coulter were down 5 percent at $44.85.

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