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Beckman Coulter will enhance its presence in the diagnostic test market by acquiring Biosite Inc. for $1.55 billion. Beckman is purchasing all Biosite's stock in a cash tender offer of $85 per share, a 53% premium over Biosite's Friday close of $55.38. San Diego-based Biosite manufactures specialized immunoassay tests that detect conditions like cancer and congestive heart failure. The merger will thus give Beckman, which sells chemical and automated biomedical test kits, a strong foothold in cardiac diagnostics. Beckman's global presence should broaden sales of Biosite's tests beyond American shores; at present, 85% of Biosite's sales are in the U.S. The companies have already worked together on B-type Natriuretic Peptide, or BNP, a test for heart failure that runs on an automated platform. Biosite will also give Beckman a pipeline of new tests, including several for acute coronary syndrome, sepsis, and abdominal pain. Biosite's net income fell 26% in 2006 to about $40 million ($2.20/share) on revenue of $308.6 million. Beckman had revenue of $2.53 billion. The deal should close in Q2 2007.

Sources: Press release, Reuters, Wall Street Journal
Commentary: The Great Independent Research Debate --- A Buy Sider Weighs In
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Beckman Coulter, Inc. (BEC), Biosite Inc. (BSTE). Competitors: Abbott Laboratories (ABT), Dade Behring Holdings Inc. (DADE), Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. (TMO). ETFs: Rydex S&P Smallcap 600 Pure Growth (RZG)
Conference call transcripts: Biosite Q4 2006

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Source: Beckman Coulter to Acquire Biosite Inc. for $1.55 Billion