Alere to offload blood gas assets to Siemens, clearing final antitrust barrier to Abbott takeover

The agreement means Alere has now found buyers for all the units antitrust officials want it to sell.

Alere has found a buyer for the last unit it must offload before the Abbott buyout can go through. The latest deal sees Alere agree to sell its Epocal point-of-care blood diagnostic unit to Siemens for an undisclosed sum.

Epocal sells products including the handheld, wireless epoc blood analysis system. As Abbott sells the competing i-STAT, antitrust regulators are uncomfortable with the prospect of the company owning both business after it acquires Alere. That created an opportunity for Siemens, which has swooped in to add Epocal to its portfolio and in doing so clear a barrier to the finalization of the Abbott-Alere transaction.

Siemens sees the assets strengthening its hand as it goes up against Abbott and others in the blood gas diagnostics sector. 

“The epoc product line will seamlessly integrate with our digital ecosystem offering customers the broadest solution available in the market. The acquisition complements our existing offerings in the point of care diagnostics space, with a view to provide customers globally with a full range of blood gas solutions,” Siemens’ Peter Koerte said in a statement.

Alere’s decision to sell Epocal to Siemens means it has now offloaded the three units Abbott offered to shed to get the European Commission to sign off on its takeover of the company. The other two units, Triage and BNP, were the subject of a $440 million deal with Quidel that Alere unveiled one week ago. Alere CEO Miles White primed investors to expect another deal last week, saying he had found “a good buyer” and  agreed on “a good price” for Epocal.

The finalization of the deals with Siemens and Quidel are subject to the completion of Abbott’s takeover of Alere and antitrust sign-offs. But the agreements Abbott struck with antitrust officials over assets and Alere over its takeover bid mean the deal now looks set to go through despite an earlier spat between the companies. Abbott expects to complete the deal by the end of the third quarter.