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Corning To Acquire Majority Of BD Discovery Labware Unit For $730 Mln

Specialty glass maker Corning, Inc. (GLW) agreed Tuesday to buy majority of the Discovery Labware unit of medical technology company Becton, Dickinson and Co. (BDX) or BD, for about $730 million in cash. The deal, subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close by the end of 2012.

Franklin Lakes, New Jersey BD said the deal includes its BD Biosciences' Discovery Labware unit, but excludes its Advanced Bioprocessing platform.

"This sale will enable our BD Biosciences segment to focus resources and management attention on both our recent Biosciences acquisitions and our recently launched new instrumentation products, which are essential to our accelerated growth efforts." BD's Executive Vice President William Kozy noted.

The deal is expected to boost Corning's annual revenues by about $235 million, while the company looks to add momentum to achieve its announced sales target of $10 billion by 2014.

Corning said recently that it is confident of achieving the target despite glass sales is anticipated to be flat through 2014 due to low prices. It expects to reach the revenue target through a combination of organic growth and strategic acquisitions.

Corning said in early February that sales growth could be driven by the telecommunications, specialty materials, environmental technologies and life sciences segments, with telecommunication expected to see sales of nearly $3 billion in a few years.

"The Discovery Labware unit's extensive product portfolio and established dealer network will significantly improve Corning Life Sciences' offerings to customers and is a critical part of Corning's long-term growth strategy," Corning Chairman, President and CEO Wendell Weeks said in a statement.

The acquisition of most of the Billerica, Massachusetts-based Discovery Labware unit will expand Corning Life Sciences' annual revenues by 40 percent. It will also help the segment to achieve its goal of $1 billion business by 2014 with a broader portfolio of life sciences products in the areas of drug-discovery tools, bioprocess solutions, and laboratory research instruments.

Corning said it will use a portion of its domestic cash balances to fund the deal, and that the deal is expected to be slightly accretive in 2013.

Following the closure of the deal, Corning projects a accretive growth of $0.05 per share, excluding purchased intangibles amortization, by 2016. Meanwhile, fiscal 2012 earnings for the acquired unit is projected between $0.23 and $0.27 per share.

Corning noted that it will integrate four of the Discovery Labware unit's main product platforms into the Corning Life Sciences business segment. The four platforms are: plastic consumable labware, liquid-handling products, cell-based assays and cell cultureware as well as ADME research.

"Life Sciences is an attractive growth industry and has low capital intensity. We expect this acquisition to provide a stable stream of incremental cash flow to Corning as we become a more balanced company," Corning CFO James Flaws said.

by RTT Staff Writer

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