Sigma-Aldrich looks to buy BioReliance Corp. for $350 million in cash

Sigma-Aldrich is attracted to suite of services that includes biologics testing, specialized toxicology and animal health testing for life-sciences clients in pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, diagnostics and other sectors, plus BioReliance's ability to help facilitate drug development, manufacturing and commercialization activities and skills in developing and executing global testing protocols

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ROCKVILLE, Md.—With Sigma-Aldrich Corp. offering a purchaseprice of $350 million to be financed through a combination of cash on hand andcredit facilities, BioReliance Corp., a provider of global biopharmaceuticaltesting services, has agreed to be acquired, with majority owner Avista CapitalPartners giving the nod. The acquisition is subject to customary closingconditions, including regulatory clearance, and is expected to close in thefirst quarter of the year.
BioReliance provides what Sigma-Aldrich is calling"critical services," including biologics testing, specialized toxicology andanimal health testing that are offered to pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical,diagnostics and other life-science clients worldwide. As Sigma-Aldrich notes, "BioReliance'sservice offering helps facilitate drug development, manufacturing andcommercialization activities" and the company's ability "to develop and executeglobal testing protocols in compliance with various regulatory standardsenables BioReliance's clients to register products with regulatory agenciesworldwide."
According to Sigma-Aldrich, a major benefit of joining thecompanies for customer will be the ability "to work with a single pointprovider that is more vertically integrated throughout the drug discoveryprocess." 

"The acquisition of BioReliance by Sigma-Aldrichcreates one of the broadest product and service offerings for the developmentand manufacture of biological drugs," said BioReliance's president and CEO,Charles Harwood, in the official announcement of the deal. "In addition,BioReliance's Specialized Toxicology and Animal Health Services segments arecomplementary to other Sigma-Aldrich product and technology areas."
"Our vision for Sigma-Aldrich is to enhance our company'sbroad product offering and strong technology platforms with a compelling andspecialized services platform," said Sigma President and CEO Rakesh Sachdev inan official statement. "The addition of BioReliance's industry-leading QA/QCtesting services enables us to support customers' needs to determine thequality and integrity of biological drugs at every step of the development andmanufacturing process.  
As the marketcontinues its focus on biological drug development, our leadership in this areashould enable us to build even better, more customer-specific solutions. [We] fullyexpect [BioReliance's] addition to contribute to our long-term growth andreturn goals."
Avista Capital Partners acquired BioReliance in2007, and David Burgstahler, president of Avista, noted in the announcement ofthe deal that "BioReliance is a world-class organization led by an outstandingteam of seasoned life sciences professionals that has demonstrated successthrough impressive growth, scientific innovation and exceptional customerservice. Avista is committed to work with Sigma-Aldrich to ensure thesuccessful transition of BioReliance and believes that the addition ofBioReliance's capabilities and service portfolio will allow Sigma-Aldrich tosignificantly enhance value to its clients and stakeholders."
Founded in 1947, BioReliance offers more than1,000 tests or services related to biologic testing, specialized toxicology andanimal health services and employs approximately 650 people around the world. BioRelianceis headquartered and has lab operations in Rockville, Md., but also haslaboratory operations in Scotland and offices in Tokyo and Bangalore, India.
BioReliance generated revenues some $110 million in 2010,with double-digit growth having been expected for 2011. The acquisition isexpected to be modestly accretive to Sigma-Aldrich's diluted earnings per sharein 2012. 

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