IBA agrees initial deal to sell drug discovery unit

BRUSSELS Tue May 14, 2013 2:22am EDT

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BRUSSELS May 14 (Reuters) - Belgian cancer diagnosis and therapy company Ion Beam Applications said on Tuesday it had provisionally agreed the sale of its drug discovery arm to a European private equity firm for 25 million euros ($32.5 million).

IBA, which did not disclose the name of the buyer, said in a statement it would retain a 15 percent stake and also secure financing through a vendor note worth 7.5 million euros.

The group, which is focusing on core businesses in radiation therapy and particle accelerators, said the price was close to the current book value of Cisbio Bioassays's assets at the end of 2012.

The initial agreement was non-binding and granted to the potential investor a period of exclusivity to carry out due diligence. The transaction is expected to close in the coming months. ($1 = 0.7703 euros) (Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop, editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek)

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