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Danaher to Acquire Iris International for $338M

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Danaher today said that it has signed definitive agreement to acquire diagnostics and sample prep technologies firm Iris International for $19.50 per share in cash.

The total consideration being paid is $338 million including debt and net of cash acquired, said Danaher. The purchase price represents a 45 percent premium to Iris' closing stock price of $13.42 on Sept. 14.

Chatsworth, Calif.-based Iris has three operating units: Iris Diagnostics, Iris Sample Processing, and Iris Molecular Diagnostics. The firm also operates a personalized medicine subsidiary developing assays based on the firm's Nucleic Acid Detection Immuno-Assay (NADiA) technology, which combines the specificity of monoclonal antibody capture with the sensitivity of real-time polymerase chain reaction detection. The subsidiary also runs a CLIA lab and offers a test for identifying patients at risk of developing prostate cancer following a prostatectomy.

Last year Iris announced a restructuring that included the discontinuation of its non-proprietary testing services but retaining some staff to continue developing lab-developed tests based on the NADiA platform.

Iris had fiscal-year 2011 revenues of $118.3 million.

"Iris will benefit from being part of a larger organization with significant resources to enable the acceleration of its diversified product pipeline strategy," Iris President and CEO Cesar Garcia said in a statement.

The Iris acquisition is the latest to further Danaher's presence in the molecular tools and diagnostics market. Over the past few years the firm acquired Beckman Coulter, AB Sciex, Genetix, Molecular Devices and Leica.

The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter, after which Iris will become part of Danaher's Beckman Coulter Diagnostics business.