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Hologic to acquire diagnostic test-maker Gen-Probe for $3.75B


A worker performs a CD4 HIV test at a lab of Shanghai Xuhui District Central Hospital in Shanghai, China, on December 6, 2006.


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Hologic Inc., a medical device company, will acquire diagnostic test-maker Gen-Probe Inc. for $3.75B in cash, the Financial Times reported.

Gen-Probe would be the latest in a series of expensive acquisitions for Hologic, the Wall Street Journal reported. Hologic would be paying $82.75 a share, a 20 percent premium to Gen-Probe’s closing price of $68.72 on Friday.

"The expectation is that Gen-Probe will become the cornerstone of our diagnostics business," Rob Cascella, Hologic's chief executive told the Wall Street Journal.

Hologic specializes in women's healthcare, manufacturing diagnostic and breast health products, Reuters reported. Gen-Probe makes leading diagnostics for sexually transmitted diseases and screening blood.

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The deal gives Gen-Probe better access to emerging markets and Europe, via Hologic’s sales and marketing teams in China and Europe, the Financial Times reported.

"We think the deal makes sense for Hologic as it gives the company a top-notch molecular-diagnostics-instrument platform," Bill Bonello, analyst at RBC Capital Markets, told the Wall Street Journal. "We believe that Hologic is well-positioned to leverage the Gen-Probe women's health menu, given its strong presence in clinical labs and physician offices."

"It's certainly a good acquisition for them (Hologic), but they definitely paid a lot,” Jeremy Feffer, an analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald, told Reuters.

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