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Biosynex to Acquire Chembio Diagnostics for $17.2M

NEW YORK – French rapid test maker Biosynex said late Tuesday that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Chembio Diagnostics for $17.2 million in cash.

Under the deal, Biosynex will acquire all outstanding shares of Chembio at $.45 per share, which is a 27 percent premium over the stock's closing price as of Jan. 30. The firms expect the transaction to close in the first quarter of 2023. The deal includes Chembio's subsidiaries in Germany, Brazil, and Malaysia, which will be run as a wholly owned group.

Hauppauge, New York-based Chembio has about 200 employees and Strasbourg, France-based Biosynex has about 300 employees. Both firms develop, manufacture, and market point-of-care diagnostic tests for use by healthcare professionals and for over-the-counter use.

Chembio has focused on developing infectious disease assays, especially for detection of sexually transmitted infections, respiratory viruses, and fever and tropical diseases. Biosynex has focused on providing rapid tests for viral infections, other infectious diseases, and women's health as well as point-of-care instruments and molecular diagnostics systems.

Biosynex CEO Larry Abensur said in a statement that the firms have complementary diagnostics portfolios, and the addition of Chembio's products "provide transformative commercial opportunities that can represent meaningful growth drivers over the near and long term." He also sees potential to leverage "strong synergies" to cut costs in the combined organization.

Chembio CEO Richard Eberly added that the deal will "enable Chembio to secure its financial needs and the synergies expected from this combination are aiming at returning the business to profitability."

"I believe this transaction can benefit customers, employees, and patients while creating value as the combined company can offer the expertise, scale, and resources to expand the impact of Chembio's technology," he said.

The firms said the combined commercial team and distribution partners also expand Biosynex's presence in the US, Brazil, Africa, and Asia and bolster Biosynex's European network. The merged company will also benefit from both firms' global regulatory expertise, increased manufacturing scale, consolidated operating overhead, and reduced public company and administrative costs.

In September, Chembio said it had received $3.2 million from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop a rapid point-of-care test for syphilis. The firm also announced late last year it had submitted a multiplex, single-use test for HIV types 1 and 2 and the syphilis-causing bacteria Treponema pallidum to the US Food and Drug Administration for a CLIA waiver.

Chembio also reported this fall that, for the third quarter ending Sept. 30, the firm recorded a net loss of $6.7 million, or $.21 per share, up from a net loss of $6.4 million, or $.24 per share, in the year-ago quarter.