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Bruker makes $914m acquisition

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Bloomberg News / December 4, 2007

NEW YORK - Bruker BioSciences Corp., the maker of X-ray and research equipment, will buy closely held Bruker BioSpin for $914 million in cash and stock. The disclosure drove the price of the acquiring company to the highest in more than seven months on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Bruker BioSciences will pay $388 million in cash and 57.5 million shares, worth about $526 million, for BioSpin, which develops magnetic resonance imaging equipment used to diagnose diseases, the companies said yesterday. Bruker BioSciences said it hopes the deal will boost its offerings to drug makers and scientists.

Members of one family, the Laukiens, own 100 percent of BioSpin and 52 percent of Billerica-based Bruker BioSciences. The family will own 69 percent of the combined company after the purchase. This is the second time the company has bought a Laukien-controlled entity since the start of 2006. The joint company, to be called Bruker Corp., will have 2007 pro forma revenue of more than $900 million.

Bruker has 1,900 employees, including about 150 in Massachusetts. After the acquisition is completed, the combined company will have about 3,700 employees, including between 225 and 230 in Massachusetts. A spokesman said the company doesn't have any plans to significantly reduce or increase its local employment as a result of the deal.

"We expect that a combined, single, public Bruker company will be beneficial to our customers, employees, and suppliers, and will be advantageous to all Bruker BioSciences shareholders," said Frank Laukien, president and chief executive of Bruker BioSciences, in a statement.

Bruker Biosciences rose $1.72, or 18.5 percent, to $11.01, the highest since $11.51 on April 30.

The purchase, which needs shareholder approval, won the backing of the independent members of the Bruker BioSciences board. A special meeting is planned for early next year.

The company paid $135 million in April 2006 for Bruker Optics, a supplier of instruments used in the drug and food industries that was 98 percent owned by the family.

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