OPKO buying Bio-Reference Laboratories for $1.5 billion


Opko Health Inc. (NYSE: OPK; TASE: OPK), has agreed to buy Bio-Reference Laboratories Inc.(Nasdaq: BRLI) in a deal valued at about $1.5 billion. Opko said it will pay 2.75 shares for each Bio-Reference Labs share, which is equal to $52.58 per share.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2015.

Opko said it will leverage the marketing, sales and distribution resources of Bio-Reference Labs to push sales of 4Kscore, a blood test that provides details of a patient’s risk of contracting aggressive prostate cancer, along with other diagnostic products. J.P. Morgan was financial advisor to Opko, while Allen & Company LLC was financial advisor to Bio-Reference Labs. Opko shares fell 3.2% in premarket trade, while Bio-Reference Labs was halted.

“GeneDx was the first commercial laboratory to offer next generation sequencing for rare disorders and almost a quarter of a million patients have benefited from these services including almost 20, 000 patients who have undergone exome analysis. Their newly introduced sequencing services for use in oncology are both innovative and impressive.”, commented OPKO chairman and CEO Phillip Frost.

“Over the years we have learned that diagnostics are integral to drug discovery, ” said Bio-Reference Laboratories’ chairman, CEO and president Marc Grodman. “This has never been more apparent than today when new sequencing technologies have afforded us the opportunity to understand the biological basis of disease in far greater depth”.

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