Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LH), more commonly known as “LabCorp,” says it has signed an agreement to purchase Dynacare, Inc. (DNCR), a medical laboratory testing company and one of its competitors, in a deal involving the purchase of all outstanding shares of Dynacare stock worth an estimated $480 million.

As part of the deal LabCorp also will absorb $205 million of Dynacare debt. In a prepared statement LabCorp officials claim the company will save $45 million in annual costs by the end of 2004 as a result of the merger.

In the release Thomas Mac Mahon, LabCorp’s chairman and chief executive officer says: “This transaction will enable LabCorp to provide more physicians and their patients with improved access to an expanded menu of leading-edge testing technologies. The merger will also expand our ability to service managed care and hospital customers and to achieve greater operating efficiencies. Clearly, the combination with Dynacare will help us achieve these objectives.”

For 2001 Dynacare revenues increased 14 percent to $402.4 million, and through first quarter 2002 revenues reached $107.7 million. During the last 52 weeks shares of DNCR rose from $6.38 to recently trade near $22.93, an all-time high. The company’s market capitalization totals $333.1 million.

Through first quarter 2002 LabCorp’s revenues increased 12 percent to $590 million while net income increased 51 percent to $65.8 million compared to the same period last year. Shares of LH ranged in price from $61.25 to $104.75, and recently traded near $101.30. The company’s market capitalization is $7.21 billion.

LabCorp Web site:www.labcorp.com