Several private equity firms are weighing a buyout of medical device and diagnostics maker Beckman Coulter Inc. (NYSE:BEC), according to news reports.
Blackstone Group LP (NYSE:BX), Apollo Global Management LLC and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (NYSE:KKR) are among a handful of investment firms interested in the Brea, Calif.-based company after news surfaced that it was looking at strategic options, including a sale, according to Reuters.
BEC share prices increased about 26 percent from $57.09 after news of a possible acquisition broke last week — its highest price in more than two years — but the stock was fetching less in late-day trading today, closing down almost 3 percent at $70.03.
The buyout interest comes at the tail end of a rough year for Beckman Coulter, in which it suffered through consecutive quarters of poor financial results, an expensive recall and the resignation of CEO Scott Garrett in September.
Losses turned into significant earnings for the company in its latest three-month period. Beckman posted third-quarter net earnings of $67.0 million, or 95 cents per share, on sales of $893.8 million during the three months ended Sept. 30. That compares with earnings of $1.5 million, or 2 cents per share, on sales of $822.8 million during the same period last year.