By Ron Shinkman, Editor, Laboratory Industry Report
Miami-based OPKO Health has completed its acquisition of New Jersey-based Bio-Reference Laboratories.
Under the terms of the all-stock deal, Bio-Reference shareholders received 2.75 shares of OPKO stock in a deal worth just under $1.5 billion.
The deal was a small fish eating big fish transaction of sorts, with OPKO’s annual revenues well under $100 million, while Bio-Reference’s annual revenue was approaching $1 billion. But an anticipated growth spurt for OPKO as a result of its specialty pharmaceutical development business fueled enough stock growth in recent years for the company to pull the deal off.
“The acquisition of Bio-Reference is important for OPKO,” said Phillip Frost, M.D., OPKO’s chief executive officer, in a statement. “Bio-Reference’s national infrastructure, reach and extensive payer network will be invaluable to the adoption of OPKO’s 4Kscore test by physicians and patients across the country. However, even more strategic is the company’s leadership position around the world in diagnostic sequencing services for rare disorders through its GeneDx business unit and its emerging cost effective tumor sequencing services through GenPath Oncology. These assets will be of great value in the process of drug discovery and development.”
The companies have yet to announce a management structure for the merged entity.
The day before the deal was completed, OPKO also entered into an agreement to provide the 4Kscore test, which vets for aggressive cancers, with Atlanta-based Stratose, Chula Vista, Calif.-based Three Rivers Provider Network and Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Fortified Provider Network. The deal will provide more than 25 million insured lives access to OPKO’s testing services, officials said.