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Dutch Biotech Qiagen to Buy Digene for $1.5 Billion

Dutch biotechnology firm Qiagen said it will acquire Digene in a transaction valued at around $1.5 billion, to create a leader in molecular diagnostics.

Qiagen, which is listed on Frankfurt's TecDAX, said the boards of directors of both companies unanimously approved the transaction in which Qiagen is to acquire 100% of Digene's stock for a combination of cash and Qiagen common stock.

It is estimated that the newly-formed company will post revenues of more than $800 million in 2008, said Qiagen in a written statement.

Qiagen CEO Peer Schatz said: "The joint franchises link virology with oncology, thereby creating an exceptional platform to add next-generation and high-value molecular diagnostic products and strategically position the company for future growth."

Schatz added that due to expected growth in the business, he did not forecast "significant changes" in the combined firm's workforce.

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