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Molecular Probes acquisition


Invitrogen has completed the purchase of privately held Molecular Probes, a company specialising in fluorescence-based technologies for labelling biological molecules in disease research and biopharmaceutical development.

The $325 million (€300m) acquisition will bolster Invitrogen's product range in life sciences research. The company, based in Carlsbad, California, sells a range of consumables including enzymes, cloning systems, protein analysis tools and cellular and biochemical assay technologies.

"The combination of the two companies will create benefits for our customers and our shareholders through distribution and technology synergies," said Greg Lucier, Invitrogen's CEO. In particular, he said that his company's distribution network would accelerate the penetration of Molecular Probes' products into new markets. Molecular Probes had revenues of $56 million in 2002, and expects turnover to rise to $66 million this year.

Meanwhile, Invitrogen reaffirmed its financial forecast for 2003, predicting that it will achieve $762 million in revenues in the year and pro forma earnings per share of $2.17, excluding amortization of intangible assets, such as intellectual property, and merger costs.

August Sick, formerly Invitrogen's vice president for business development, has been appointed general manager of Molecular Probes and will be leading the integration process.

This is the second acquisition for Invitrogen this year. In February, it bought PanVera's biochemical and cellular assay capabilities, as well as its commercial portfolio of proprietary reagents, probes and proteins, from Vertex Pharmaceuticals for $95 million in cash.

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