Bloomberg

Danaher Corp. (NYSE: DHR) agreed to buy molecular diagnostics company Cepheid (Nasdaq: CPHD) in a deal valued at about $4 billion, including debt, the first purchase since spinning off its industrials businesses to focus on science and technology. The offer is $53 a share in cash for all of the outstanding shares of Cepheid, Danaher said in a statement.

Danaher averaged 10 acquisitions per year in the last decade while widening profit margins, before completing its separation in July. With Cepheid, it is gaining a maker of medical instruments that enable genetic testing for infectious diseases, among others. Cepheid’s shares had dropped 46 percent since its July 2015 all-time high, mirroring declines in biotechnology stocks.

In a recent similar deal, Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ZBH) has acquired medical test maker CD Diagnostics. In other healthcare technology deals, Auris Surgical Robotics Inc. announced plans to purchase medical robot manufacturer Hansen Medical Inc. and Thoma Bravo is acquiring medical IT security firm Imprivata (NYSE: IMPR).

 Cepheid posted revenue of $539 million in 2015, and has forecast sales of as much as $635 million in 2016, Washington-based Danaher said. It expects the acquisition to erode net earnings per share in the first full year after closing. The transaction is likely to be completed around the end of 2016, according to the statement. Danaher expects to fund the deal with cash and proceeds from the sale of debt.

--Additional reporting by Mergers & Acquisitions' Demitri Diakantonis

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