Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Lawsuit Filed Challenging Proposed Sale of Varian to Agilent


An investor has filed a lawsuit in California State Court challenging Varian's proposed $1.5 billion sale to Agilent Technologies.

Under the terms of the proposed acquisition announced last week, Agilent will pay $52 for each share of Varian stock, a 35 percent premium over the closing price of Varian's stock on the trading day before the proposal was announced [see PM 07/30/09].

In a statement, New York law firm Levi & Korsinksy said that "the transaction appears unfair given that Varian shares traded close to $70 per share in 2008." That figure was reached on Jan. 17, 2008, when Varian shares hit a high of $68.69. Like other publicly traded firms, though, Varian's stock has taken a hit since then, as the riptide created by the broad Wall Street upheaval over the last year pulled the market down. At the close of market on Wednesday, Varian shares were priced at $50.77.

It is unclear whether Levi & Korsinsky filed the lawsuit but it is seeking parties who may be interested in becoming plaintiffs in the case. On deadline representatives from the firm were not available for comment.

In its statement, Levi & Korsinsky also took issue with a no-solicitation provision that the Varian board agreed to and a $46 million termination fee. Together, the two conditions "all but ensure that no superior offer will ever be forthcoming."

The deal is expected to close before the end of the year.

Other law firms are questioning the proposed deal. This week, Atlanta-based Holzer Holzer & Fistel and Bethlehem, Penn., firm Howard G. Smith also said they are investigating whether Varian's board fulfilled its fiduciary duties in approving the transaction.

Spokespeople for Varian and Agilent said the companies had no comment.

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.