Inverness extends bond exchange deadline

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Inverness Medical Innovations Inc. (NYSE:IMA) is giving a handful of stragglers a little extra time to cash in their unregistered bonds.

The Waltham, Mass.-based diagnosis, monitoring and health management firm is extending until June 4 the tender period for note-holders to turn in Inverness bonds maturing in February 2016. The tender period had been set to expire at 5 p.m May 24, with about 98 percent of the note-holders making that deadline.

Inverness sold $100 million of the notes — which carry a 7.875 percent coupon — to qualified institutional investors last September in part to fund its acquisition of Free and Clear Inc., a privately owned company in Seattle specializing in behavioral coaching for employers, health plans and government agencies. The new notes are virtually identical to the originals, but will now be accompanied by registration statements filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

The notes largely wound up in high-yield bond funds, including portfolios managed by Federated Investment Management and the Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company, or Valic, with about $1.7 million each. Boston-based Fidelity Investments (with a $1.485 million stake) and the John Hancock Floating Rate Fund ($360,000), along with theOppenheimer High Income Fund ($385,000) also own sizable positions.

Notes not turned in by the new June 4 deadline will continue to pay their regular proceeds, although the note-holders would not be able to freely transfer the securities to other investors.

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