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Biosite Agrees To Takeover Talks With Inverness

Biosite said on Tuesday it was prepared to enter into discussions with Inverness Medical Innovations about the suitor's acquisition proposal, which it said ultimately could top an offer from Beckman Coulter.

Biosite, which makes tests to diagnose heart conditions and other diseases, entered into a merger agreement with Beckman Coulter in March for about $1.55 billion, or $85 a share, in cash.

Beckman Coulter said on Tuesday that it remained committed to acquiring Biosite despite the company's interest in talking to Inverness, which makes home pregnancy tests and fertility monitoring kits.

Biosite said it was prepared to engage in discussions with Inverness about a planned competing offer of $90 a share.

Beckman Coulter said it was waiving a requirement that Biosite provide it with 48 hours' notice before engaging in discussions with Inverness in order to resolve the matter more quickly.

Shares of Biosite were up $1, or 1.1%, at $93.26 in morning Nasdaq trading. Beckman Coulter rose 11 cents to $63.89 on the New York Stock Exchange, and Inverness fell 16 cents to $41.30 on the American Stock Exchange.