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Meridian Bioscience to Buy Exalenz Bioscience for $49M

NEW YORK – Meridian Bioscience announced Wednesday it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire gastrointestinal diagnostic firm Exalenz Bioscience for 6.10 Israeli shekels per share, implying a transaction value of 169 million Israeli shekels, or $49 million.

Under the agreement, Cincinnati-based Meridian will add Exalenz's BreathID Breath Test Systems, a point-of-care urea breath test platform for detection of H. pylori. The system offers noninvasive sample collection for both adult and pediatric patients, and compliments Meridian's stool antigen tests, Meridian said in a statement.

"Our focus has been to drive our strategy to re-position our diagnostics business for sustainable, long-term growth," said Meridian CEO Jack Kenny. "Exalenz's BreathID platform is an excellent fit for our customers, allowing Meridian to offer gastrointestinal testing solutions from low volume point-of-care labs to high volume reference labs.".

The purchase will be financed with cash on hand and debt under Meridian's credit facility, which is being expanded to $160 million. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2020.

Israel-based Exalenz develops and markets breath diagnostic tests for gastrointestinal and liver conditions. The US Food and Drug Administration cleared the BreathID Hp point-of-care system and the BreathID Hp Lab system for pediatric use in 2018. They were previously cleared for use in adults.

Exalenz generated about $14 million in revenues in 2019, Meridian said.

The transaction follows Meridian's acquisition of GenePOC last spring.