CHALFONT ST. GILES, U.K.—August 14, 2006—At the close of the offer period for GE Healthcare's acquisition of Biacore shares, the multinational giant had received acceptances from Biacore shareholders for more than 9.5 million shares, as well as the right to acquire more than 0.7 million warrants. Together, these give control of more than 98 percent of Biacore shares to GE Healthcare. As of August 15, Biacore became a GE Healthcare subsidiary.
UPPSALA, Sweden—As it works to grow its life sciences division, United Kingdom-based GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric Co., has announced that it intends to acquire Biacore International AB, a leading provider of life science tools for protein research.
Biacore's board of directors has already unanimously recommended that shareholders endorse the tender offer, which was expected to begin on July 10—with an anticipated closing of the deal in the third quarter of this year. If all goes according to current plans, GE's acquisition of all outstanding shares of Biacore will total approximately SEK2.9 billion—or approximately $390 million in U.S. dollars—on a fully diluted basis, net of Biacore cash and equivalents.
"Life sciences is a key area of growth for GE Healthcare, and Biacore is highly complementary and synergistic with our existing protein sciences business," says Joe Hogan, president and CEO of GE Healthcare. "We are extremely excited about Biacore's prospects and believe our joint offerings will create added value for our customers in biomedical and drug discovery research. Expanding on GE Healthcare's expertise in this area supports our objective of helping to diagnose and treat disease earlier."
Biacore also stands to benefit a great deal from merging with GE Healthcare, Hogan notes, pointing out that the Swedish company will be able to capitalize on GE Healthcare's global sales network and customer base in protein sciences and benefit from its significant investment in new technologies to accelerate medical discoveries. Hogan predicts that GE Healthcare also will be well positioned to expand the applications for Biacore's products and technologies and expand the potential markets in which to sell those products.
"I believe that by combining Biacore's technology, products and brand with GE Healthcare's broad product offering, we will be able to bring significantly enhanced solutions to the life science community, where we have a number of common customers," says Erik Walldén, president and CEO of Biacore. In addition, he notes that Biacore will be able to benefit from the additional technical and commercial resources of GE Healthcare to accelerate its growth, particularly in terms of expanding its opportunities in protein research.
GE already has broad experience in medical imaging and information technologies, drug discovery, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, performance improvement and biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies. But the company expects to gain a great deal from bringing Biacore into the fold and thus enhancing its positions in biomedical research, biomarker discovery, and drug discovery and development.
For example, Biacore has a highly regarded platform in surface plasmon resonance (SPR), a key enabling technology in proteomics that reportedly gives scientists critical insights into protein functionality, the role of proteins in normal and diseased states, and the influence of potential drug candidates, notes Peter Ehrenheim, CEO of GE Healthcare Life Sciences.
In addition, Biacore's systems are used in such areas as antibody characterization, biomarker discovery, small molecule characterization, biopharmaceutical development and production, where GE considers itself to have a strong presence.
"Biacore is already one of the fast-growing life sciences companies," Ehrenheim says, "and we hope to grow Biacore even faster by investing in new technologies and tools that help researchers in the pharmaceutical industry and academia to accelerate new discoveries in medicine."
Biacore employs approximately 300 people worldwide, operating R&D and manufacturing facilities in Uppsala, Sweden, which is the same city where GE Healthcare Life Sciences business is headquartered. Because of the synergies and the close geographic proximity, GE Healthcare intends to combine the expertise of Biacore and GE Healthcare Life Sciences to create a global center of excellence in protein science in Uppsala.