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

With Sigma-Aldrich Corp. offering a purchase price of $350 million to be financed through a combination of cash on hand and credit facilities, BioReliance Corp., a provider of global biopharmaceutical testing services, has agreed to be acquired, with majority owner Avista Capital Partners giving the nod.

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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 "criticalservices," including biologics testing, specialized toxicology and animalhealth testing that are offered to pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical,diagnostics and other life-science clients worldwide. As Sigma-Aldrich notes,"BioReliance's service offering helps facilitate drug development,manufacturing and commercialization activities" and the company's ability "todevelop and execute global testing protocols in compliance with variousregulatory standards enables BioReliance's clients to register products withregulatory agencies worldwide." 
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-Aldrich creates oneof the broadest product and service offerings for the development andmanufacture of biological drugs," said BioReliance President and CEO CharlesHarwood in the official announcement of the deal. "In addition, BioReliance'sSpecialized Toxicology and Animal Health Services segments are complementary toother 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 market continues its focus on biological drugdevelopment, our leadership in this area should enable us to build even better,more customer-specific solutions. [We] fully expect [BioReliance's] addition tocontribute to our long-term growth and return goals." 
Avista Capital Partners acquired BioReliance in 2007, andDavid Burgstahler, president of Avista, noted in the announcement of the dealthat "BioReliance is a world-class organization led by an outstanding team ofseasoned life sciences professionals that has demonstrated success throughimpressive growth, scientific innovation and exceptional customer service.Avista is committed to work with Sigma-Aldrich to ensure the successfultransition of BioReliance and believes that the addition of BioReliance'scapabilities and service portfolio will allow Sigma-Aldrich to significantlyenhance value to its clients and stakeholders." 
Founded in 1947, BioReliance offers more than 1,000 tests orservices related to biologic testing, specialized toxicology and animal healthservices and employs approximately 650 people around the world. BioReliance isheadquartered and has lab operations in Rockville, Md., but also has laboratoryoperations 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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