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Alameda’s Celera to be Acquired by New Jersey’s Quest Diagnostics

In a joint announcement today, Quest Diagnostics Incorporated of Madison, New Jersey, announced that it would acquire Alameda-based biotech firm Celera Corporation for approximately $344 million.

According to the announcement, Celera generated revenues of $128 million in 2010. The $344 million transaction value represents an $8 per share purchase price, net of $327 million in cash and short-term investments held by Celera.

Surya Mohapatra, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of Quest Diagnostics said that the transaction will strengthen his company’s leadership position in molecular diagnostics discovery and development, and drive revenue growth.

Kathy Ordonez, Chief Executive Officer of Celera, stated: “We are pleased to have reached an agreement through which Celera and our Berkeley HeartLab become part of the world’s most respected diagnostic testing company. Our discovery and validation of new biomarkers has exceeded our capacity to commercialize them. Combining Celera’s expertise in genetics with Quest Diagnostics’ medical leadership, market access and scale is expected to speed the realization of our vision to personalize medicine. We believe this is a compelling transaction that accelerates the delivery of value to our shareholders.”

The companies expect the transaction to close by the end of April, 2011 and Quest Diagnostics expects Celera to add just over 1% to its 2011 revenue growth.

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