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Reuters New Media
SeraCare to go private in $81 mln deal

February 13, 2012
Reuters NewMedia - February 13, 2012

* Offer represents a premium of 12 pct * Deal to close in the second quarter * Shares up 10 pct in premarket trade Feb 13 (Reuters) - SeraCare Life Sciences Inc said it will be bought by an affiliate of private equity firm Linden Capital Partners for $80.8 million.

The deal follows a trend set in 2011, when the U.S. healthcare industry witnessed a string of private equity takeovers as PE firms bet on rising use of services by an aging population in the United States, Europe and elsewhere.

In October, PE firms Carlyle Group and Hellman & Friedman agreed to buy Pharmaceutical Product Development for $3.9 billion and, in November, American Dental Partners was taken private by JLL Partners.

The $4.00-per-share deal represents a premium of nearly 12 percent to SeraCare's Friday close on the Nasdaq. SeraCare had 20.2 million shares outstanding as of Feb. 3.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter, the company said in a statement.

SeraCare, which supplies diagnostic control products for HIV, plasma-derived reagents and contract research services, had said last year it was exploring strategic alternatives, including a possible sale, after it received an unsolicited buyout offer from private equity firm MSMB Capital.

The company was forced to put itself up for sale after lower Federal spending put pressure on its revenue as people held out on doctor visits for small tests.

Shares of the Milford, Massachusetts-based company, which have risen about a third in the last three months, were up 10 percent in premarket trade. They had closed at $3.58 on Friday on the Nasdaq.

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