Sigma-Aldrich Sells Majority of Diagnostics' Chemistry Product Line


Sigma-Aldrich announced that it has sold its key special chemistry and cardiac ("Chemistry") products to Trinity Biotech plc. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

The Chemistry products represented less than 20% of the discontinued Diagnostics unit's sales and approximately 1.0% of total sales for Sigma-Aldrich in 2001. These products made a modest contribution to overall Sigma-Aldrich profitability. This sale brings the total of Diagnostics products still available to customers through alternate sources to approximately 70% of the discontinued Diagnostic unit's 2001 sales.

In connection with its discontinuance of the Diagnostics business unit, announced in April 2002, the Company recorded a one-time charge of $63 million (net of taxes) in the second quarter of 2002 and indicated that it expected the discontinuance to provide cash of at least $20 million. Purchase prices and transfers of the commitments and employees in connection with the sale of various product lines to date, including this sale to Trinity Biotech plc, have now reduced this one-time charge and increased the expected cash provided by approximately $8 million (net of taxes) and $10 million (net of taxes), respectively. The Company continues to believe that operating what remains of the discontinued Diagnostics business unit as those assets are held for sale should reduce otherwise reportable diluted earnings per share by as much as $.01 in the fourth quarter. Management does not believe that this announced sale of the Chemistry products to Trinity should affect the price of Sigma-Aldrich stock and continues to expect that all Diagnostics activity will be completed by the end of Q1 2003.

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