Let's make a deal

Bio-Rad Laboratories completes purchase of certain diagnostics businesses of Biotest AG for $67.5 million

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HERCULES, Calif.—Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc. recently announced that it has completed the purchase of certain diagnostics businesses of Biotest AG, including its diagnostics products in the areas of blood transfusion testing, transplantation and infectious diseases, for $67.5 million.
Bio-Rad, a global manufacturer and distributor of life science research and clinical diagnostics products, initially signed a definitive agreement to acquire the diagnostics businesses of Biotest on Oct. 23.
Under the agreement, all shares of Biotest Medical Diagnostics GmbH, based in Dreieich, Germany, and Biotest Diagnostics Corp., located in Rockaway, N.J., have been transferred to Bio-Rad. In addition, the transaction comprises the transfusion and transplantation diagnostic businesses of Biotest Group's international subsidiaries under an asset deal.
"We are pleased with the opportunity to expand our product offering in the area of immunohematology," says Norman Schwartz, Bio-Rad's president and CEO.
"Integrating Biotest diagnostics products into our current offering will further strengthen Bio-Rad's position in this area and enable us to provide our customers with a broader range of products and services."
According to John Goetz, Bio-Rad's vice president and group manager of clinical diagnostics, Biotest's diagnostics businesses are attractive acquisitions because they enable Bio-Rad to offer its customers with a broader range of immunohematology products and services. Integrating Biotest's diagnostic business into Bio-Rad's product portfolio will broaden the company's offering in the area of immunohematology and "allows us to reach immunohematology customers in the U.S. as well," he notes.
Goetz also points out that the business units of Biotest have developed a strong regulatory compliance team, which Bio-Rad can leverage within its European operations. 
"Their strong focus on quality and customer care is consistent with Bio-Rad's philosophy and outlook," he says.
With growing revenues, Bio-Rad apparently isn't content to rest on its laurels and Goetz wouldn't close the door on future acquisitions, noting that "Bio-Rad is always actively seeking and evaluating opportunities."
Germany-based Biotest develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceutical, biotherapeutic and diagnostic products. The company has more than 2,000 employees worldwide.
The acquisition also is a positive prospect for Biotest employees impacted by the deal.
"Consistent with Bio-Rad's approach to acquisitions, the people, facilities and technology go hand in hand," Goetz points out. "We are excited to have an FDA licensed facility located in Europe."
Goetz also points out that Bio-Rad understands that it is the people that create the value.
"We have no intention in making major changes," he notes. "The upside for us and the employees is the success we hope to have by putting Biotest's products in the hands of our worldwide sales and service organization. Biotest brings the products and Bio-Rad brings the means of distribution—a good match, I think."
In its Plasma Protein segment, Biotest develops and markets immunoglobulins, coagulation factors and albumins based on human blood plasma. These are used for diseases of the immune and haematopoietic systems. In the Biotherapeutic segment, Biotest researches into the clinical development of monoclonal antibodies, including in the indications of rheumatoid arthritis and cancer of plasma cells. The products of the Microbiological Monitoring segment are primarily used in hygiene monitoring.
Biotest Diagnostics Corp. handled the Microbiology business of Biotest Group in the United States up to the acquisition. This part of the business has been spun of to the new subsidiary Biotest Microbiology Corp. This company is located on the same premises as the sold Biotest Medical Diagnostics Corp. in Rockaway, NJ. The employees dedicated to the Microbiology business and the contact dates for the Microbiology customers will remain unchanged.

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