By Mary Vanac
ATHENS, Ohio — Quidel Corp., the San Diego, Calif.-based company that makes point-of-care diagnostic tests, agreed to acquire Diagnostic Hybrids Inc. of Athens, Ohio, for $130 million in cash.
Started in 1983 by a group of Ohio University professors, Diagnostic Hybrids was spun out of the university to commercialize its sophisticated diagnostic tests used mostly by hospital and reference laboratories.
“Diagnostic Hybrids will broaden Quidel’s current portfolio into complementary, non-seasonal infectious and autoimmune diseases and help diversify our revenue base,” Quidel president and CEO Doug Bryant said in a press release. “Moreover, Diagnostic Hybrids has a solid track record of generating strong and profitable sales growth.”
Quidel intends to operate Diagnostic Hybrids, which employs more than 230 people in Athens, as a wholly owned subsidiary. Diagnostic Hybrids also employs seven research and development professionals at an HIV research lab and office in Cleveland. The deal is expected to close near the end of the first quarter and is subject to regulatory approvals.
“Quidel is a synergistic and cultural fit for Diagnostic Hybrids and this transaction presents us with an excellent opportunity to have a larger presence in our markets and to leverage key aspects of our research and development teams to accelerate product development,” said Diagnostic Hybrids president and CEO David Scholl. “Our combined organization will have greater channel strength and together we will provide our customers a full service offering of best-in-class diagnostic products.”
Scholl, who has been with Diagnostic Hybrids for most of its life, will remain president of the company and has been appointed as a senior vice president of Quidel. A Quidel spokeswoman said her company plans to leave Diagnostic Hybrids and its workforce in Athens. The privately owned company had 2008 revenues of $38 million and has posted a compound three-year growth rate of 21 percent.
Quidel had revenues of $128.1 million, net income of $18.8 million and diluted earnings per share of 58 cents in 2008, according to a regulatory filling. For the first nine months of 2009, Quidel reported revenues of $97.7 million, up 3 percent from $94.6 million at the same time in 2008. Net income was $12.8 million, or 42 cents a diluted share, in the nine months ended Sept. 30. That was flat from $12.8 million, or 39 cents a diluted share, in the year-ago period.
Shares of Quidel, which trade on the NASDAQ Stock Market, rose 63 cents to $14.78 on Monday. The company made its announcement on Sunday. Today, Quidel shares were down 5 cents to $14.73 in early afternoon trading.