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Dec 11, 2007

Inverness Announces Tenth Acquisition of the Year

  • Inverness Medical Innovations (IMI) plans to acquire a tenth company this year. IMI says that it will pay between $141 million and $148.95 million for BBI Holdings, which focuses on in vitro diagnostics and reagents.

    BBI will become a wholly owned subsidiary of IMI. Under the terms of the acquisition, Inverness will offer BBI shareholders 195 pence, or approximately $3.95, per ordinary share payable in IMI stock. The price offering is about 23.8% more than BBI’s closing value on Monday, December 10. Alternatively, BBI may select a cash payment at 185 pence, or approximately $3.75, per share. In addition, BBI employees also have options to purchase 5,303,349 shares. An Inverness subsidiary already owns about 12% of BBI stock.

    “We have had a long and positive relationship with BBI,” says Ron Zwanziger, Inverness CEO. He believes that BBI’s expertise in novel lateral flow based rapid diagnostic products and developing and manufacturing high performance reagents and biological materials for use in those products will complement Inverness’ existing business.

    This year, IMI has spent about $2.17 billion in acquisitions. It kicked off the year with a $5.4 million buyout of Med-Ox Chemicals. In February, it signed separate deals for Promesan and First Check Diagnostics. About three months later, the firm took over Orange Medical. That month, also marked IMI’s victory over Beckman Coulter in a bidding war for Biosite. IMI eventually shelled out about $1.5 billion for Biosite. In August, the company purchased Matritech for $36 million in stock. October was IMIs busiest month, picking up Bio-Stat Healthcare Group, Panbio, and Alere Medical. As recently as November 26, IMI spent $230 million on ParadigmHealth in an all-cash deal.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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