In a bid to create the world's largest stand-alone molecular diagnostics company, San Diego-based Gen-Probe has launched a $334 million cash bid for Belgium's Innogenetics. That's a seven percent premium over the June 2nd close and a six percent premium over a bid by Solvay. Gen-Probe says that if its bid is successful, the combined company will have more than a half billion dollars in annual revenue. A spokesman for Solvay says the company is aware of the counter-offer and will make its position known "in due time."
A merger with the European firm would give Gen-Probe a presence on the continent, where the diagnostics business has been growing at a more rapid pace than in the U.S.