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Quidel to Acquire Certain Alere Cardiovascular, Toxicology Assets and Assays for up to $440M

NEW YORK (360Dx) – Quidel said today that it has inked an agreement to acquire Alere's Triage B-type naturietic peptide assay business and its Triage MeterPro cardiovascular and toxicology assets for $400 million and $40 million in contingent consideration.

The deal includes Triage's facility and associated real estate in San Diego.

Alere is divesting these products in order to obtain antitrust approvals required for the pending acquisition of the company by Abbott. The Quidel-Alere transactions are subject to the completion of that acquisition, Quidel said.

It said that the purchase would give it an expanded portfolio of rapid diagnostic capabilities in critical care, and diversify its business geographically. The deal also is expected to provide Quidel less exposure to seasonality and add strength to its position in the point-of-care market.

The firm noted that the Triage MeterPro installed base of cardiovascular and toxicology instruments is complementary to its installed base of Sofia instruments, and would provide it with "a beachhead into new, fast growing areas of POC testing." The Alere assay for detecting B-type natriuretic peptide, a hormone produced by the heart, runs on Beckman Coulter analyzers. The hormone correlates with increased heart pressure and suggests heart failure or other cardiac conditions.

Quidel would sell the Triage MeterPro products and BNP assays through its direct sales force and distributors.

In 2016, Triage MeterPro had $146 million in revenues. Estimated BNP business revenues "as structured under the transaction" were $51 million, Quidel said.

Douglas Bryant, president and CEO of Quidel, said in a statement that the firm had been "looking at acquisition opportunities in high-growth segments of the POC diagnostics market, such as cardiovascular, for several years." He noted that the deal would add "an extensive cardiovascular and toxicology POC offering to our innovative medical diagnostics portfolio."

He added that the Triage acquisition would "significantly" stabilize its quarterly revenue profile and enhance its geographic and product diversity, "with substantial expansion opportunities in new markets."

The installed base of Triage MeterPro instruments in the US "nicely complements" the installed base of Quidel's Sofia and Solana platforms in the hospital segment, he noted. Internationally, the Triage MeterPro system gives it access to "the rapidly evolving cardiac biomarker segment, one of the faster growing segments in the IVD market,” Bryant said.

Piper Jaffray research analyst William Quirk wrote in a research note today that "it is clear Quidel is acquiring an asset which has had its own fair share of challenges," and was originally purchased by Alere for $1.6 billion net of cash in 2007. However, the investment bank is "largely positive on the transaction on first blush," as the seasonality of Quidel's flu business is among the main complaints of investors. He added the deal could add predictability to Quidel's financial results.

Quidel said that it expects the transactions to close by the end of September. The deal will be funded with cash and committed financing from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and JP Morgan Chase.

Quidel's shares were up more than 12 percent at $30.60 in morning trading on the Nasdaq. Alere's shares, traded on the New York Stock Exchange, were up less than 1 percent at $50.45, and Abbott's shares, also traded on the NYSE, were flat at $48.92.