Genetic analysis portfolio push

USB acquisition would accelerate Affymetrix’s development of new genetic analysis tools

Jeffrey Bouley
SANTA CLARA, Calif.—Affymetrix Inc. announced in mid-December that it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Cleveland-based USB Corp., a privately held company that develops, manufactures and markets molecular biology and biochemical reagent products. The acquisition reportedly will enable Affymetrix to accelerate the development and commercialization of new genetic analysis solutions and increase the value of its current product portfolio.

Affymetrix will pay approximately $75 million in cash to acquire USB. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

"The integration of USB's biochemical reagents with Affymetrix's current and future products will greatly accelerate our ability to develop and commercialize more complete customer solutions," says Kevin King, president of Affymetrix. "USB is a recognized leader in the life sciences industry with strong brand equity and established manufacturing capabilities. This acquisition is a strategic fit for Affymetrix' growth strategy and we expect it to be modestly accretive to our 2008 earnings per share, before anticipated charges relating to the transaction."

"USB brings new manufacturing capabilities and an extensive line of molecular biology and biochemical reagent products," adds Andrew Noble, associate director of corporate communications for Affymetrix. "USB presented a great opportunity to accelerate the development and commercialization of new genetic analysis tools and broaden our current product portfolio with an established brand of reagents."

 A team has been put in place and planning is underway to ensure a smooth integration of the two companies, Noble notes. "Over the next few months, we will determine how to leverage our strengths to bring a more complete solution to our customers."

Affymetrix plans to discuss the impact of the acquisition as part of its next earnings call.
"Affymetrix is a pioneer in the life science research market that continues to set the standard in genetic analysis by successfully commercializing its innovations," says Mike Lachman, CEO and president of USB. "The USB and Affymetrix combination drives higher customer value today and opens the door to new and emerging market opportunities for tomorrow."

USB is a developer, manufacturer and supplier of enzymes, reagents and kits for life sciences research and industrial applications. The company history extends back to the 1970s, known then as United States Biochemical. In 1993, United States Biochemical was purchased by Amersham Life Science, a company that later merged with Swedish-owned Pharmacia Biotech in 1997. The current USB Corp. was founded in 1998 after members of the senior management team acquired the three original product lines back from Amersham Pharmacia Biotech.

 

Jeffrey Bouley

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