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AMERSHAM ADDS SEQUENASE DNA-SEQUENCING TECHNOLOGY

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

AMERSHAM ADDS SEQUENASE DNA-SEQUENCING TECHNOLOGY with the acquisition of United States Biochemical, announced by Amersham in a March 15 press release. Under the agreement, Amersham will acquire USB "for a consideration of up to $69 mil." USB is a "supplier of reagents, biochemicals, intermediates and related services to the North American life science industry." The USB acquisition will allow Amersham to increase its offerings in the field of molecular biology. The firm currently offers "labelled nucleotides and autoradiography products used in sequencing." USB's major product is Sequenase, a genetically engineered enzyme for DNA sequencing. According to Amersham, "Sequenase is well suited both to the current generation of automated sequencing instruments and to the likely next generation based on capillary electrophoresis technology." Other USB products that Amersham will obtain through the acquisition include RNAzyme, the first commercially available non-protein enzyme product, and GeneScribe, the first T7 RNA polymerase transcription system. For the fiscal year ending April 30, 1993, USB expects earnings before taxation of $3.6 mil. on anticipated sales of approximately $38 mil. The firm posted before-tax earnings of $2.2 mil. and sales of $35.7 mil. for fiscal year 1992. Terms of the acquisition call for Amersham to pay $51.75 mil. upon completion of the deal through the issuance of 4.64 mil. "new Amersham Ordinary Shares" at 712 pence (approximately $10.20) and through "the payment of $4.14 mil. in cash in respect of outstanding options over USB stock." Amersham will then make payments over three years of up to $17.25 mil. if certain USB products meet agreed sales levels.
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