• Roper Industries buy laboratory software services firm for $1.4 billion

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Roper Industries buy laboratory software services firm for $1.4 billion

Jul 31 2012

Roper Industries is set to buy Sunquest Information Systems, a provider of diagnostic and laboratory software services, for around $1.4 billion (£892.4 million) in cash, Reuters has reported.

Diversified US manufacturer Roper Industries produce medical and scientific imaging devices, radio frequency products and fluid testing equipment, and said that the large evaluation was based on the fact that they expect Sunquest to benefit from such favourable market forces as an aging population and the need for reduced healthcare costs.

Longbow Research analyst Mark Douglass said: "One of the reasons the stock has held up relatively well in the last several months is because people were expecting a sizable transaction towards some time in 2012 and Roper delivered.

"Growth, high profits, more or less stable recurring revenue, no capital expense required -- that's what Roper's after."

Two thirds of Sunquest's revenue comes on a recurring basis. It is largely down to this market strength that has pushed Roper Industries into making the acquisition, which is expected to  add about 12 cents to 14 cents per share to adjusted earnings in 2012, and about $75 million to revenue in the last four months of the year.

The acquisition is one of many that seem to be occurring in the medical diagnostic sector. Agilent Technologies recently acquired Danish cancer diagnostics firm Dako for $2.2 billion, and Hologic made a $3.75 billion purchase of Gen-Probe.

Florida-based Roper's shares, which have risen about 11 per cent this year, were up another 8 per cent at $106.48 in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange. Roper CEO Brian Jellison said that the move could add significant amounts to the industry, with innovation and expertise from the company's adding value in a market which is consistently expanding.

He told Reuters: "It is going to add well over 35 per cent (in revenue) to the medical and scientific segment for next year."  

Posted by Neil Clark

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