Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) may be known for its branded generic pharmaceuticals, but it just boosted its diagnostics division with the $5.8 billion acquisition of Alere Inc. (NYSE: ALR). Alere provides point-of care diagnostics and services for the infectious disease, cardiometabolic disease, and toxicology in the United States and worldwide. Abbott will pay $56 per common share, representing a 51% premium to Alere’s closing price on Friday, January 28, 2016. Abbott will also assume or refinance Alere’s $2.6 billion debt.
Back in July 2015, Alere paid $60 million for US Diagnostics. It made a larger, $270 million deal for eScreen, Inc. in March 2012. The combination of Abbott and Alere will create a premier point-of-care testing business, and will strengthen Abbott’s diagnostics presence.