Genzyme Corp. said Monday that it is selling its genetic testing business to Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings for $925 million so it can focus on its core growth areas.
The Cambridge, Mass., biotech firm had put the genetic testing business up for sale — along with two other units — in May under a plan to increase shareholder value. The deal gives LabCorp access to all of the division's testing services, technology, intellectual property rights and its nine testing laboratories.
"The completion of this sale allows us to focus our resources on core growth areas and create stronger returns on invested capital," Genzyme Chairman and CEO Henri A. Termeer said in a statement.
French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis has been offering to buy Genzyme Corp. for $18.5 billion but has been rebuffed so far.
Genzyme, which on Friday said it was going to announce some job cuts this week, is still on track with plans to sell the remaining two units, Diagnostic Products and Pharmaceutical intermediates. The company said proceeds from the sales may be used to fund the second half of its $2 billion stock buyback that is set to be completed by May.
LabCorp, of Burlington, N.C., will offer jobs to the 1,900 employees of the Genzyme unit. The company is one of the country's biggest laboratory testing businesses specializing in routine testing, with 38 primary testing locations and more than 1,500 patient service centers.
The transaction is subject to antitrust approval and is expected to close by year-end.
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