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Thermo Electron to Spin Off Viasys Healthcare on Thursday

NEW YORK, Nov. 14 - Thermo Electron is set to spin off its Viasys Healthcare unit on Thursday, capping a broad corporate reorganization begun in January 2000, a Thermo spokeswoman said on Wednesday.


The spin off will act as a tax-free dividend for Thermo shareholders who owned stock in the company on or before Nov. 7, the spokeswoman, Caroline Grossman, said.


Viasys, which makes a range medical instruments, will become a public company and will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, according to Grossman.


"After [Thursday] afternoon, Thermo will own no more shares of Viasys," Grossman said.


In January 2000, Thermo Electron, a once-massive holding company based in Waltham, Mass., announced a major reorganization that sought to sell off $1.5 billion worth of businesses and narrow its focus from 24 publicly traded firms that spanned four diverse industries to a single business focused on one just analytical instruments.


Before the reorganization, Thermo Electron was worth more than $4 billion, according to Grossman. On Thursday it will be worth $2.3 billion.


Viasys Healthcare, a privately held company based in King of Prussia, Penn., reported an increase in revenues and profit for its third quarter. Net income excluding restructuring and other unusual costs for the period ended Sept. 30 rose 22 percent to $5 million, up from $4.0 million year over year, the company said on Oct. 30.


Revenues grew 5.7 percent to $87.9 million for the 2001 period, compared with $83.2 million last year, primarily driven by strong sales of respiratory care products, Viasys said. Third-quarter gross margins also increased to 48.1 percent in the 2001 quarter from 47.3 percent in 2000, while operating income, excluding restructuring and other unusual costs, rose to $8.9 million in 2001 from $8.2 million one year ago.

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