The sent Celera stock up nearly 30 percent to $8.11 per share in mid-day trading, while Quest shares dipped about 1 percent to $53.68.
The deal for Celera, which develops genetic diagnostics, is worth about $344 million net of $327 million in acquired cash and short-term investments, according to Quest.
“The transaction value is expected to be further reduced through the realization of a significant portion of Celera’s available tax credit and net operating loss carry-forwards and capitalized R&D, which totaled $117 million at the end of 2010,” according to a press release.
Quest chairman and CEO Surya Mohapatra said the deal will “further strengthen our leadership position in molecular diagnostics discovery and development and drive sustainable revenue growth. We will gain immediate access to an impressive range of proprietary tests and products, and a strong pipeline of biomarkers for the future.”
“This transaction advances our growth strategy to be the leading innovator and provider of esoteric and gene-based testing for cancer, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease and neurological disorders,” Mohapatra said in prepared remarks. “I am pleased at the prospect of Celera’s CEO Kathy Ordonez and key members of her team becoming part of Quest Diagnostics.”
In a separate announcement, Celera report its fourth-quarter and full-year 2010 financial results. The Alameda, Calif.-based company posted net income of $2.5 million, or 3 cents per share, on sales of $34.9 million during the three months ended Dec. 25, 2010. That’s a top-line slide of 12.3 percent compared with the same period in 2009; profits were off 44 percent.
For the full year, Celera reported net losses of $24.6 million, or 30 cents per share, on sales of $128.2 million (a 22.3 percent top-line decline compared with 2009 and a 3.3 percent decline in profits).
The merger is expected to close by the end of April.