Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp), Burlington, NC, has announced it will purchase Sequenom Inc, San Diego, for $302 million in cash. The companies expect to close the deal by the end of the year.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, LabCorp will acquire all of Sequenom’s outstanding shares at $2.40 per share, or an equity value of $302 million, in a cash tender offer. The transaction represents a total enterprise value of approximately $371 million, including Sequenom’s net indebtedness.

“Sequenom’s market-leading NIPT and genetic testing capabilities will advance LabCorp’s strategy to deliver world-class diagnostic solutions,” says David P. King, chairman and chief executive officer of LabCorp. “This is exactly the kind of strategic acquisition that LabCorp seeks: Sequenom was the first laboratory to offer a clinically validated noninvasive prenatal test (NIPT) (MaterniT 21) and has performed more than 500,000 tests to date.”

“Sequenom’s proven best-in-class technology and strong research complement LabCorp’s extensive women’s health offering, providing patients and physicians with one source for the most complete range of testing options in women’s health, including NIPT and reproductive genetics,” King adds.

Sequenom also expands LabCorp’s geographic reach, King continues, particularly through licensing and commercial partnerships in the European Union and Asia Pacific. “The addition of Sequenom to the LabCorp family meets our stated financial criteria, and creates a market leader in NIPT, women’s health, and reproductive genetics, furthering our mission to improve health and improve lives around the globe,” he says.

Dirk van den Boom, PhD, Sequenom.

Dirk van den Boom, PhD, Sequenom.

“We are extremely excited to join LabCorp in its mission to deliver world-class diagnostic solutions,” says Dirk van den Boom, PhD, president and CEO of Sequenom. “Over the last 9 months, Sequenom has vastly enhanced its technology, operations, and business prospects. The opportunities this transaction presents are significant and important both for our reproductive health business as well as our liquid biopsy strategy. Becoming part of LabCorp helps Sequenom reach a much broader market for our innovative testing.”

Under the terms of the agreement, LabCorp has formed an acquisition subsidiary, Savoy Acquisition Corp, that will commence a tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of Sequenom for $2.40 per share. Following the completion of the tender offer, LabCorp expects to consummate a merger of Savoy Acquisition Corp and Sequenom.

The board of directors of Sequenom has approved the agreement and has recommended that Sequenom’s stockholders accept the offer and tender their shares in the offer when it is made.

JP Morgan is acting as financial advisor to Sequenom in connection with the transaction, and Cooley LLP is providing legal advice. Barclays is acting as financial advisor to LabCorp, and Hogan Lovells is providing legal advice.

For more information, visit LabCorp and Sequenom.