Abbott Acquires Diagnostics Firm

In a deal worth $5.8 billion, Abbott Laboratories is buying medical test–maker Alere.

Feb 2, 2016
Kerry Grens

ABBOTT LABORATORIESAlere, a diagnostics company that markets tests for HIV, influenza, dengue, and other diseases, will be bought by pharmaceutical and device maker Abbott Laboratories for $4.8 billion, plus another $1 billion in stock options and preferred shares, the firms announced yesterday (February 1).

“The combination of Alere and Abbott will create the world’s premier point of care testing business and significantly strengthen and grow Abbott's diagnostics presence,” Miles White, the chairman and chief executive officer of Abbott, said in a statement. “We want to offer our customers the best and broadest diagnostics solutions. Alere helps us do that.”

“We view the deal positively as we think point-of-care testing is the fastest growing segment in the diagnostic market,” S&P Capital IQ analyst Jeffrey Loo told Reuters.

According to Bloomberg columnist Tara Lachapelle, the timing was advantageous to Abbott, given that Alere’s shares has dropped last year. “That made it a cheaper takeover target,” she wrote. “Alere was trading at a 30 percent discount to what analysts think the company is worth on a stand-alone basis.”