Agilent to buy Varian, Inc. for $1.5B, expanding its MI portfolio

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Agilent Technologies has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Varian, a supplier of scientific instrumentation for life science and molecular imaging (MI) applications, for approximately $1.5 billion.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based Agilent said it will pay $52 cash per share of common stock for the Palo Alto, Calif.-based Varian in a transaction that represents a premium of approximately 35 percent to Varian's closing price on July 24. Both Agilent's and Varian's board of directors have unanimously approved the all-cash offer.

Agilent said the acquisition broadens its offerings in life sciences, as well as expands Agilent's product portfolio into atomic and molecular spectroscopy; with a position in nuclear MR and imaging.

Once the acquisition has been completed, Adrian Dillon, Agilent's executive vice president and chief financial officer, will assume responsibility for combining Varian with Agilent's bio-analytical measurement segment consistent with its operating model.

The transaction is subject to approval by the shareholders of Varian and will be completed after the customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, which Agilent hopes to occur before the end of 2009. The transaction is not subject to any financing conditions.

Varian Medical Systems, a developer of radiation therapy systems that is also located in Palo Alto, is not part of the Agilent transaction.