Agilent Technologies buying Varian in $1.5B tech deal

Chilled by a frosty economic climate, Varian has agreed to be bought out by rival Agilent Technologies for $1.5 billion. In the deal, Agilent, the world's largest manufacturer of scientific testing instruments, snaps up a lineup of new products for atomic and molecular spectroscopy, positioning the company as a top supplier to the life sciences market.

"This acquisition is a major step in Agilent's transformation into a leading bio-analytical measurement company,'' Agilent Chief Executive Bill Sullivan said.

Varian's stockholders will gain $52 a share, a 35 percent premium over Friday's close. Agilent arrived at the bargaining table with deep pockets. Varian was forced to lay off about 10 percent of its workforce--some 2,700 workers--last spring as it sought to restructure in a downturn.

- here's the announcement
- read the story from the Boston Globe