Quest Diagnostics to buy Celera Corp. for $657 million in cash Print E-mail
By Phil Cheng, ProactiveInvestors.Com   
Friday, 18 March 2011 08:57
Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX), a provider of diagnostic testing, information and services, said Friday it has agreed to acquire Celera Corp. (NASDAQ:CRA), a genetic diagnostics firm, for about $657 million in cash.
The $8 per share deal represents an almost 28% premium to Celera’s closing share price on Thursday. 

"For Quest Diagnostics, this is an important transaction which will further strengthen our leadership position in molecular diagnostics discovery and development and drive sustainable revenue growth. We will gain immediate access to an impressive range of proprietary tests and products, and a strong pipeline of biomarkers for the future," said CEO of Quest Diagnostics, Surya N. Mohapatra. 

Through the acquisition, New Jersey-based Quest will gain Celera’s portfolio of biomarkers, substances used to indicate the presence of diseases, as well as various tests for heart diseases, cystic fibrosis, and HIV drug resistance. 

With Celera having about $327 million in cash and short-term investments as well as tax credits and loss carryforwards, Quest is effectively paying less than $330 million for the company. 

The deal, subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close at the end of April.  The deal is not expected to have a material impact on Quest’s 2011 earnings per share. 

Since the announcement, Celera’s shares have soared 30.8% on the pre-market to trade above the acquisition price at $8.20 as of 8:40 am EST, suggesting traders expect a higher bid.

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