Local Tech Wire

BURLINGTON, N.C. – Laboratory Corporation of America (NYSE: LH) is buying the genetics testing unit of Genzyme Corp. (Nasdaq: GENZ) in an all-cash deal worth $925 million.

LabCorp, which is based in Burlington, announced the deal early Monday.

Genzyme is currently fighting by European-based drug giant Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE: SNY), which has offered more than $18 billion for all of the company at $69 a share. So far, Genzyme has rejected the Sanofi offer.

“This acquisition will substantially expand our capabilities in reproductive, genetic, hematology-oncology and clinical trials central laboratory testing,” said LabCorp’s David King, its chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement. “The acquisition of Genzyme Genetics provides us with an unprecedented opportunity for revenue growth in our key strategic focus areas of esoteric testing and personalized medicine.”

LabCorp is buying Genzyme Genetics with financing provided by Citi.

The deal must still receive regulatory approval.

“Genzyme Genetics is among the premier genetics and oncology laboratories in the United States,” King said. “It has an excellent clinical reputation, a track record of growth and innovation and outstanding people.”

The deal covers “all testing services, technology, intellectual property rights, and its nine testing laboratories,” Genzyme, which is based in Massachusetts, said.

The sale includes some 1,900 employees. Genzyme said the workers and senior management would be offered jobs by LabCorp.

"This transaction demonstrates the strategic value of Genzyme Genetics and the strong franchise we’ve built over a twenty year period," said Henri Termeer, chairman and chief executive officer of Genzyme, in a statement.

"It also shows how our management team is uniquely positioned to unlock the underappreciated value of Genzyme’s diverse businesses for shareholders,” he added. “The completion of this sale allows us to focus our resources on core growth areas and create stronger returns on invested capital."

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