Beckman Coulter ($BEC) researching public vs. private future

After some recent troubles and a few buyout offers, Beckman Coulter ($BEC) has turned to analysts as it determines its future in either the public or private sector. According to Bloomberg, General Electric, Danaher and 3M have all expressed interest in purchasing a laboratory equipment company.

This year, company CEO Scott Garrett resigned after lower-than-expected earnings, sending down stock prices. And over the summer, the company received an FDA warning letter regarding AccuTnI, which measures the protein tropinin, a marker for heart problems.  The agency admonished the company for making"significant modifications" to the product without getting the required clearance. The letter set off alarm bells for some analysts, who worried it was a sign the company could lose its grasp on its industry. "Beckman's product quality issues are clearly hindering new sales and customer retention," said Bruce Cranna, an analyst at Jefferies & Co., in an letter to investors, as quoted by Bloomberg.

Any decision is months down the road, but could lead to a beneficial stockholder payout. Bloomberg notes that there have been 104 acquisitions in the medical diagnostic equipment business in the past five years with an average disclosed price of $466 million and an average premium of 51 percent.

- check out Bloomberg's piece

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