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Although some industry watchers cautioned last month that Beckman Coulter (NYSE:BEC), with its $85-per-share buyout offer for Biosite (BSTE), was overpaying, Inverness Medical Innovations (IMA) apparently disagrees.

The Waltham, MA-based company Thursday upped the ante, issuing an unsolicited letter to Biosite, stating that it was prepared to acquire all Biosite shares that it doesn’t already own, for $90 a share (it currently owns 4.9%). But Beckman Coulter isn’t backing down. The company’s CEO, Scott Garrett, told The Wall Street Journal that his firm’s offer is "clearly superior to the unsolicited, highly speculative and conditional letter" from Inverness Medical.

A successful acquisition would bring either company an increased presence in the immunoassay testing market. Inverness, which currently specializes in pregnancy and fertility tests, has had its eye on expanding that focus for a while. In February, the firm inked a deal with Chembio Diagnostics [CBMI.OB] for exclusive marketing rights to the Medford, NY company’s FDA-approved rapid HIV tests. As a result of that partnership, Inverness has dibs on any future tests developed using Chembio’s proprietary Dual Path Platform technology, for which the firm was recently awarded a U.S. patent; DPP is thought to offer considerable advantages over today’s single path tests. An accepted bid for Biosite would make Inverness a player in cardiac diagnostics.

For now, Biosite is mulling over Inverness’ letter with its financial advisor, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), and outside counsel, Cooley Godward Kronish and Potter Anderson & Corroon.

Source: Med Tech Sentinel

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Source: Inverness Tops Beckman Coulter's Bid For Biosite