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Siemens Extends Dade Behring Offer Period

Siemens has extended its $7 billion offer to shareholders of lab equipment company Dade Behring Holdings while it waits for EU antitrust approval, Siemens said on Thursday.

Siemens held 82.55% of Dade as of Sept. 26 and expects the deal to close in the fourth quarter of this year rather than the first quarter of 2008 as first envisioned, the company said in a statement.

"We have made an attractive offer and do expect a smooth completion of the transaction after we have received full clearance from the antitrust authorities," Siemens Chief Financial Officer Joe Kaeser said.

Siemens is buying Dade Behring to bolster its medical equipment division.

Dade Behring shareholders now have until Oct. 31 to tender their shares.

Siemens had already extended its original deadline of Sept. 5 by three weeks as it awaited regulatory approval.

U.S. antitrust authorities approved the deal on Sept. 17 and Siemens said it expected their European counterparts to give the green light in time to close the deal this year.

After the tender offer is completed, any remaining shares of Dade Behring will be acquired at the same offer price of $77 per share.

Analysts have said the price Siemens is paying is high but that the bid shows that buyers are not dissuaded by high stock prices for diagnostic companies as long as their profits and growth prospects are strong.

Siemens shares rose more than 1% to 95.56 euros, compared with a 0.5% rise in Germany's blue chip DAX index.

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