BioFire (Idaho Technology) Acquisition Finalized by bioMérieux

In vitro diagnostics company bioMérieux announced this week it has finalized its acquisition of 100% ownership in BioFire Diagnostics Inc., a privately held U.S.-based company specializing in molecular biology. The agreement to purchase BioFire was first announced on September 4.

Created over 20 years ago, BioFire (formerly Idaho Technology) has developed, produced and marketed a number of automated PCR molecular biology systems. More recently, BioFire developed FilmArray*, a unique FDA-cleared multiplex PCR system that integrates all molecular diagnostics steps – sample preparation, amplification, detection and analysis – into one system. This allows hospitals to perform the molecular biology tests available on its menu in the hospital laboratory, thereby enabling faster and more efficient medical decision making. FilmArray currently has two CE-marked and FDA-cleared panels – a Respiratory Panel and a Blood Culture Identification Panel.

The two companies present strong strategic synergies, especially in marketing, manufacturing and innovation. FilmArray is a key differentiating asset in the development of bioMérieux’s franchise in infectious disease diagnostics, its primary area of expertise. Additionally, bioMérieux will contribute its capabilities to the automation of reagent production, thereby optimizing manufacturing costs.

BioFire’s site in Salt Lake City will become bioMérieux’s hub for its expansion in molecular biology and R&D teams from the two companies will contribute to the development of new panels.

“The acquisition of BioFire creates strong growth opportunities. FilmArray meets perfectly the growing hospital laboratory demand for high medical value solutions in infectious disease diagnostics, thus ideally complementing our current product offering, especially for emergency situations and critical care,” said Jean-Luc Belingard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of bioMérieux. “We welcome our new employees and look forward to providing our worldwide customer base with our complete range of diagnostic solutions dedicated to infectious diseases.”

Kirk Ririe, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of BioFire, said: “We are pleased to see both companies join forces to enrich FilmArray’s menu and to reach new customers with a global sales and marketing force. The legacy of what we have built at BioFire is the result of the contributions of so many talented individuals and we are tremendously excited about our prospects under the stewardship of bioMérieux, a company similarly committed to improving patient care worldwide.”

In order to meet the expectations of BioFire’s biodefense customers in the United States, a wholly owned subsidiary dedicated to the biodefense activities has been established, called BioFire Defense. All the BioFire personnel, activities and equipment associated with the defense business will be physically transferred to a protected and separate site in Salt Lake City.

The transaction includes a $450 million acquisition price and the company’s net financial debt (around $35 million), representing a total of EUR355 million. Acquisition costs will amount to EUR6 million to be recorded under non-recurring items (about EUR2 million in 2013 and EUR4 million in 2014). This acquisition will be essentially funded through bioMérieux’s inaugural EUR300-million issue of seven-year bonds.

*FilmArray is a registered brand name of BioFire Diagnostics.

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