Fisher Scientific International Inc. announced two transactions that will significantly enhance its capabilities in molecular diagnostics. Fisher has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Athena Diagnostics, Inc., developer and provider of proprietary molecular diagnostic and immunodiagnostic tests and services, from Behrman Capital for $283 million in cash. Athena has an extensive portfolio of proprietary neurologic, nephrologic and endocrine diagnostic tests targeting such diseases as neurogenetic and neuromuscular disorders as well as Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, obesity, kidney disease and diabetes. The company had 2005 net revenues of $55 million.
Fisher will fund the acquisition with cash-on-hand. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close early in the second quarter. Fisher expects it will have no effect on its 2006 earnings per share and will be slightly accretive to cash earnings per share.
Simultaneous with its acquisition of Athena, Fisher has entered into an agreement to purchase 9 percent of Nanogen, Inc. for $15 million in cash. Nanogen is a provider of advanced molecular diagnostic equipment, microarrays and reagents for diagnostic applications. Fisher and Nanogen will collaborate to expand the use of Athena's proprietary markers and tests.