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Celera Sued Over Plans to Sell to Quest

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The New Orleans Employees Retirement System is suing Celera, alleging its plan to sell the company to Quest Diagnostics for $671 million undervalues the company.

Along with Celera, its CEO, Kathy Ordoñez, and its board of directors are named as defendants in the lawsuit filed in Delaware Chancery Court. Quest and its wholly owned subsidiary, Spark Acquisition, are also named as defendants.

According to a report yesterday from Bloomberg, the New Orleans Employees Retirement System alleges that the price being paid by Quest is less than what Celera is worth after restating some financial figures, and that Celera's board failed to fulfill its fiduciary duties. The company's current high share price is evidence that Celera's board did not maximize the value of the firm, the plaintiffs alleged.

In late afternoon trading Thursday, shares of Celera on the Nasdaq were up 2 percent at $8.36. On March 17, the day before Quest's bid for Celera was announced, Celera's shares closed at $6.27.

David Speechly, a spokesman for Celera, said the company had no comment on the lawsuit.