Laboratory Corporation of America® Holdings (LabCorp®) (NYSE:LH), the world’s leading healthcare diagnostics company, and Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ:SQNM), a pioneer in non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) for reproductive health, today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement and plan of merger under which LabCorp would acquire all of the outstanding shares of Sequenom in a cash tender offer for $2.40 per share, or an equity value of $302 million, which represents a total enterprise value of approximately $371 million, including net indebtedness.
“Sequenom’s market-leading NIPT and genetic testing capabilities will advance LabCorp’s strategy to deliver world-class diagnostic solutions,” said 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 NIPT test (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 added: “Sequenom expands LabCorp’s geographic reach both domestically and internationally, offering services through licensing and commercial partnerships with an emphasis on 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.”
“We are extremely excited to join LabCorp in its mission to deliver world-class diagnostic solutions,” said Dirk van den Boom, Ph.D., president and CEO, Sequenom. “Strategically, this transaction makes sense. LabCorp is the world’s leading healthcare diagnostics company, providing comprehensive clinical laboratory and end-to-end drug development services. Sequenom is a pioneer in noninvasive prenatal testing for reproductive health. Over the last nine 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.” (Original Source)
Shares of Sequenom jumped nearly 180% following the acquisition announcement. SQNM has a 1-year high of $2.99 and a 1-year low of $0.82. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $0.99 and its 200-day moving average is $1.28.
On the ratings front, Sequenom has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on July 18, Jefferies Co. analyst Brandon Couillard reiterated a Hold rating on SQNM, with a price target of $0.75, which reflects a potential downside of -11.8% from last closing price. Separately, on June 27, William Blair’s Brian Weinstein reiterated a Hold rating on the stock .
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Brandon Couillard and Brian Weinstein have a total average return of 14.2% and 3.0% respectively. Couillard has a success rate of 71.3% and is ranked #146 out of 4083 analysts, while Weinstein has a success rate of 54.3% and is ranked #1545.
Sequenom, Inc. provides early patient management information. It develops and commercializes molecular diagnostic testing services that serve women’s health and oncology markets.