Antech Diagnostics agrees to acquire assets of AVRL for $21 million from Abaxis

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Abaxis, Inc. (NasdaqGS: ABAX), a medical products company manufacturing point-of-care blood analysis systems, and VCA Inc. (NasdaqGS: WOOF), a leading animal healthcare company in the United States and Canada, today jointly announced Antech Diagnostics, Inc., VCA's laboratory division, has agreed to acquire the assets of AVRL (Abaxis Veterinary Reference Laboratory) from Abaxis for $21 million in cash. The parties anticipate the transaction will close by the end of March. Abaxis, Inc. estimates that this activity will result in total pre-tax charges of approximately $10.0 to $12.0 million. This includes cash payments for employee-related costs, including costs for severance, contract termination and other associated costs, and a non-cash charge for the impairment of assets and other assets.

Through the sale of AVRL to Antech Diagnostics, Abaxis will be able to increase its focus on its core product offerings and bolster its co-marketing relationship with Antech Diagnostics. Representatives from Abaxis and Antech Diagnostics will continue to work together, in conjunction with our distribution partners, to market a complete diagnostic solution consisting of Abaxis point-of-care diagnostic products and Antech Diagnostic's reference lab services.

Clint Severson, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Abaxis, said, "AVRL was an exciting venture for Abaxis, and we are pleased that we had the opportunity to enter the reference lab market. We are proud of our accomplishments with AVRL, and we thank the many loyal customers that used our service. This transaction will allow us to return our focus to our state of the art point-of-care analyzers and with our Antech relationship, now enhanced by distribution, to offer a complete laboratory solution to customers. Antech has a national network of laboratories and a strong technology platform and we believe our customers will be well served."

Dr. Craig Tockman, Vice President of Sales and Marketing added, "The Abaxis – Antech co-marketing relationship has proven to be extremely effective for both companies, particularly in larger competitive accounts. Over the past year, and with the recent significant changes in the veterinary distribution landscape, this transaction strengthens the excellent partnership we have established by combining our joint marketing efforts with the relationships and capabilities of our distributors. Antech provides superior reference lab proximity and service, and we are proud to be their partner."

Josh Drake, President of Antech commented, "We see great benefit in the relationship between two demonstrated leaders in veterinary diagnostics and this only strengthens the respective sales and marketing capabilities of Antech Diagnostics and Abaxis. We are confident that this relationship will further the goals of both companies in providing a complete diagnostic solution offered through our extensive distribution partners to the veterinary community. Abaxis has proven to be a great partner for us and we look forward to working with Abaxis for many years to come."


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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