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Danaher will buy air and water-filter maker Pall Corp. in a $13.8 billion deal to tap into fast-growing demand from the biotechnology industry, and said it would split into two listed companies after the deal.
The $20-billion filtration market is expected to grow due to strong demand for advanced purification systems as biotechnology companies launch more biologics, drugs made from living cells.
"Biologic drugs will go from about 20-25 percent of the market to 50 percent in the next few years," said Ross Muken, an Evercore ISI analyst. "That means an increase in production and more demand for filtration products and services."
Danaher and Pall Corp. shares each rose as much as 5 percent to touch record highs of $90 and $124.61, respectively, on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
Danaher's offer of $127.20 per share represents a premium of 28 percent to Pall Corp.'s close on Monday.
Danaher, which has a market value of about $60 billion, is an aggressive deal-maker, striking at least four deals since September when veteran company executive Thomas Joyce Jr took over as chief executive.
Just two weeks after Joyce's appointment, Danaher said it would buy Switzerland's Nobel Biocare to become the biggest player in the dental implants market.
"An acquisition of Pall has been the 'next Danaher deal' for the last decade," Nigel Coe, an analyst with Morgan Stanley wrote in a note on Tuesday, a day after The Wall Street Journal reported Pall Corp. was for sale.
"The core filtration business is a logical complement to DHR's life sciences and environmental franchises."
Danaher said it would split into a science and technology company and an industrial company through a tax-free separation.
The company retaining the Danaher name will comprise Pall Corp. as well as Danaher's life sciences and diagnostics, dental, water quality and product identification businesses.
The other will make test and measurement products, retail fuel pumps, and telematics and automation products.
Joyce will remain CEO of the new Danaher. James Lico, who leads Danaher's retail fuel and test and measurement businesses, will lead the other company.
Danaher said it expects to complete the deal by the end of the year and the split by the end of 2016.
The company said it would finance the deal mainly with available cash and new debt.
Goldman Sachs served as Pall Corp.'s financial adviser, while Shearman & Sterling served as legal adviser.