TPG to take Immucor private for about $2 billion

BANGALORE Tue Jul 5, 2011 12:11pm EDT

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BANGALORE (Reuters) - Private equity group TPG Capital TPG.UL will take diagnostics firm Immucor Inc BLUD.O private in a near $2 billion deal that could give the company's niche blood-testing products a more global profile.

Immucor has been seen as a potential target because of its unique technology that automates the identification of blood types -- a process that was earlier done manually.

The deal follows a flurry of private equity-backed acquisitions, which have risen about 42 percent this year from a year ago.

"Immucor has done a great job of automating the blood typing process and bringing in latest technologies to what used to be a manual process," Avondale Partners analyst Daniel Owczarski said.

"There is some competition but nothing that has been able to slow them down," he added.

The 30-year-old company makes and sells reagents used by hospital blood banks, laboratories and blood donor centers to detect and identify certain properties such as blood type and antigens of human blood before transfusion.

Immucor shareholders will receive $27 in cash for each share they own, representing a premium of 30 percent to the stock's Friday close.

Shares of the company jumped 30 percent to hover around the offer price on Nasdaq, suggesting the market does not expect a competing bid.

"It seems like a real nice premium. Don't expect a bidding war to break out and it is a win for shareholders," Avondale's Owczarski said.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2011.

The agreement has a go-shop provision that allows Immucor to seek better offers through August 15, the company said in a statement.

PE's GROWING APPETITE

The Immucor deal marks the second big acquisition by TPG,

which manages around $48 billion, in the health sector in less than a year.

Last July, TPG and Carlyle CYL.UL had won the bidding for Australia's Healthscope Ltd for $1.73 billion.

Recent deals in the sector include KKR's (KKR.N) $2.38 billion buyout of Pfizer's (PFE.N) Capsugel unit, Warburg Pincus' $438 million deal with ambulatory services provider Rural/Metro Corp RURL.O and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice's $3 billion takeover of Emergency Medical Services EMS.N.

Goldman Sachs acted as financial adviser to Immucor, while Citi and J.P. Morgan Securities advised TPG.

Citi and JP Morgan have also provided fully committed financing to TPG.

Immucor shares were trading at $27 in morning trade. Nearly 19 million shares changed hands by noon on Tuesday, about 35 times their 10-day moving average volume. (Reporting by Esha Dey in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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