- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Invitrogen Corp., a maker of genetic-research tools, yesterday announced that it would acquire Rockville-based BioReliance Corp. for about $430 million to expand its drug-development services.

BioReliance tests and manufactures biological drugs for drug-development companies, focusing on proteins that are difficult to make or store.

Carlsbad, Calif.-based Invitrogen plans to offer $48 a share in cash for BioReliance, which matches the value of BioReliance shares when the deal was announced. As a result, BioReliance’s investors will gain no premium.

“Adding our experience in testing, development and manufacturing services creates a total solution for companies to link functions of the production cycle and improve productivity,” Capers W. McDonald, BioReliance’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The transaction is scheduled to close near the end of the first quarter, the companies said.

Calls to the companies to ask about projected job changes at BioReliance were not returned yesterday.

Invitrogen plans to assume about $70 million of BioReliance’s debt, making the deal worth $500 million.

“BioReliance enables us to streamline the drug-development process in the preclinical through production stages, helping bring biologic-based drugs to market more quickly and efficiently,” Gregory Lucier, Invitrogen’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

BioReliance reported a $4.6 million profit in the third quarter and generated revenue of $24.3 million.

Invitrogen had a third-quarter profit of $13.7 million on revenue of $196.9 million.

When the acquisition is completed, BioReliance will become part of Invitrogen’s bioproduction business segment. BioReliance will retain its name and continue its drug testing and manufacturing, but will incorporate Invitrogen’s services and technologies into its product line.

Most of BioReliance’s more than 600 employees are based at the company’s Rockville headquarters. It also has offices in England and Germany.

In October, Forbes magazine ranked BioReliance among the top 200 “Up and Coming Companies” for the year.

BioReliance’s stock closed down 2 cents yesterday at $47.98 per share. Invitrogen’s stock rose $4.40 per share to close at $69.55.


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