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Orion Selling Diagnostica Business to Axcel for At Least €163M

NEW YORK (360Dx) – Orion said today that it has inked an agreement to sell its Diagnostica business to an investment fund managed by Axcel, a Nordic private equity investment company.

The fixed purchase price is about €163 million ($199.3), and Orion could receive a variable component of up to €60 million based on Axcel's return on investment at the time of its exit. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018, and it's not conditional upon the parties obtaining various approvals, including from authorities that review competitive legal issues, Orion said.

"Together with Orion Diagnostica's management and employees, we intend to further develop the company into an even stronger operator in the global diagnostics market," Thomas Blomqvist, a partner at Axcel, said in a statement.

He noted that based on an "attractive customer proposition and a strong market position," Axcel sees a "great opportunity to grow Orion Diagnostica further both geographically and by expanding its product offering."

Orion said that its diagnostics business has "no material business synergies" with its second business, pharmaceuticals.

Among the platforms that Orion Diagnostica offers is its point-of-care isothermal amplification-based molecular diagnostic system called GenRead. The company said in the fall that it eventually plans to bring its MDx technologies to the US.

In January, the firm had announced that it was evaluating strategic alternatives for the Diagnostica business, including the potential to sell it.

In 2017, Orion Diagnostica had net sales of €54 million and an operating profit of €8.9 million. The firm ended the year with 282 employees. It is unclear how many will remain at the company.