MDS divests early-stage pharma unit for $45M

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MDS, a provider of products and services to the global life sciences markets, has signed agreements to divest its remaining MDS Pharma Services early-stage business, which provides discovery through Phase IIa clinical trial services to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, for $45 million and certain minority equity interests.

The $45 million purchase price includes a five-year, $25 million note and $20 million in cash that will be adjusted for working capital and other items; after currently projected adjustments, the $20 million cash payment is estimated to result in net cash proceeds of approximately $7 million, according to the company.

Upon the close of the sale, Toronto-based MDS will have completed its repositioning strategy and will be focused on building its MDS Nordion business, which has leadership positions in medical imaging, radiotherapeutics and sterilization technologies.

Under the terms of the agreements, MDS said it will divest its discovery and pre-clinical operations in Bothell, Wash.; Lyon, France; and Taipei, Taiwan, to Ricerca Biosciences, a provider of early-stage contract research organization services.