US diagnostics firm Laboratory Corp to buy Sequenom

US  healthcare diagnostics company Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings yesterday struck a deal to buy Sequenom Inc, a maker of non-invasive prenatal tests for reproductive health, for about $371 million, including debt.

Under the terms of the deal, LabCorp will pay $2.40 per share, or an equity value of $302 million, for a total enterprise value of approximately $371 million, including net debt.

The $2.40 per share offer is a 182 per cent premium to Sequenom's Tuesday close.

Sequenom develops molecular technologies and highly sensitive laboratory genetic tests for NIPT and carrier screening.

The California-based company's wholly owned subsidiary, Sequenom Center for Molecular Medicine, offers multiple clinical molecular genetics tests to patients, including MaterniT21 PLUS, a noninvasive prenatal test for trisomy 21, trisomy 18, and trisomy 13, HerediT CF Cystic Fibrosis Screening Test, and the SensiGene RHD Fetal RHD Genotyping Test.

''Sequenom's market-leading NIPT and genetic testing capabilities will advance LabCorp's strategy to deliver world-class diagnostic solutions,'' said David King, chairman and CEO of LabCorp.

''This is exactly the kind of strategic acquisition that LabCorp seeks: Sequenom was the first laboratory to offer a clinically validated NIPT test (MaterniT®21) and has performed more than 500,000 tests to date…… 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,'' he added.