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It seems that the medical and biotech buyout frenzy of late 2006 continued well into last week with major deals dominating the week's headlines.

Mylan Laboratories (MYL) announced that it will buy Merck KgA's (MRK) generic drug unit for $6.6 billion. How expensive is this price? Well, consider that Mylan's market cap was $5 billion. The company had to issue about $2 billion in stock and related debt just to complete the transaction. Wall Street was obviously not too positive on the price paid by Mylan as the company's stock fell 12% on the day.

Cardinal Health (CAH) offered $1.5 billion to acquire Viasys Healthcare (VAS). This to me looks like a great pick up by Cardinal, since Viasys's array of ventilators and diagnostic instruments complement its line of hospital supplies. Cardinal Health paid the $1.5 billion all in cash, and Viasys should add to its bottom line almost immediately.

Biosite (BSTE) finally agreed to be acquired by Inverness Medical Innovations (IMA) for $92.50 a share, after Beckman Coulter (BEC) refused to increase its own offer of $90 a share. This bidding battle between Inverness and Beckman Coulter pushed Biosite's share price up by more than 66%.

Bausch & Lomb (BOL), a leading contact lens maker, had agreed to be taken over by private equity firm Warburg Pincus for $4.7 billion, a 6% premium to the prior day's closing price. While some believed it to be a pretty low offer, I personally think that with Bausch & Lomb's many current legal issues with its recalled contact lens solutions, not many other suitors would have paid any more.

Not as large of a deal, but a healthcare related deal nonetheless, is the purchase of IOMED (IOX) by privately-held orthopedic device company ReAble for $22 million. This shows that the interest in biomedical firms is strong no matter the size.


- Inverness Bids Even Higher for Biosite
- Biotech Buy-Outs Continue, Solexa latest Pickup

Source: Biotech Buyout Frenzy Continues