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updated: 7/5/2011 1:24 PM

TPG Capital buying Immucor for $1.97B in cash

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Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Blood-testing equipment maker Immucor Inc. said Tuesday it agreed to be acquired by TPG Capital in a deal worth $1.97 billion, or $27 per share in cash.

Immucor said its board unanimously approved the deal, and the Norcross, Ga., company expects the sale to close in the second half of 2011.

TPG Capital, a private investment firm, is offering a 30.3-percent premium to the most recent closing price of Immucor shares. The deal requires regulatory approval and the support of the owners of at least 84 percent of Immucor's shares. TPG will start a tender offer for Immucor shares by July 15.

ValueAct Capital, which is Immucor's biggest shareholder, said it supports the transaction. ValueAct is hedge fund that owns 8.9 million shares of Immucor, or 12.7 percent of the company.

Shares of Immucor jumped $6.27, or 30.3 percent, to $27.00 in afternoon trading. The stock has traded between $15.01 and $21.95 in the last year and closed at $20.73 on Friday.

Immucor sells automated blood testing systems that are designed to screen donated blood. The devices are used in blood donation centers and laboratories. The company also sells reagents that are used on those systems. Immucor's sales have been hurt by the weak economy, and over the first three quarters of its latest fiscal year, revenue grew 1 percent to $248.5 million.

Immucor can seek other buyout proposals until Aug. 15, but Jefferies and Co. analyst Jon Wood said there probably not will be any competing bids. He noted that Immucor has had few competitors in recent years, but that is likely to change soon because of patent expirations. That makes this a good time for Immucor to make a deal in his view.

"We view the transaction as fairly valued, given the franchise's diminished pricing power, an intensifying competitive landscape, and ongoing Food and Drug Administration manufacturing concerns that remain unresolved," he wrote.

Immucor changed chief executives last month, as President and CEO Gioacchino De Chirico left the company and was replaced by Joshua Levine.