QIAGEN continues to expand its geographic presence in attractive markets around the world. The top seven emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Korea, Mexico and Turkey represented 12% of net sales in the third quarter of 2012 and generated 19% CER growth over the year-ago period. QIAGEN continues to expand its presence in China, including through major instrument supply agreements. In the third quarter QIAGEN launched a collaboration with a leading medical device company in China, Lepu Medical Technology ( Beijing) Co., Ltd., to provide QIAGEN's ESEQuant Lateral Flow System for use in emergency rooms with Lepu's tests for cardiac markers that detect myocardial infarction (heart attack). This agreement, which involves 750 ESEQuant systems, adds a new Point of Need application in Molecular Diagnostics and further expands QIAGEN's rapidly growing presence in Asia.
Grow efficiently and effectively
QIAGEN continues to implement actions to grow more efficiently and effectively. Far-reaching organizational and leadership changes took effect on July 1 to improve capabilities and better address customer needs. Changes throughout QIAGEN continue to emerge from a company-wide project launched in November 2011 to enhance productivity and free up resources for reallocation to strategic initiatives. Operational improvements are being made to focus R&D activities on high-growth areas in all customer classes, optimize capacity utilization at selected sites and capture savings from shared service functions and outsourcing. QIAGEN has set a goal of generating approximately $50 million of pre-tax savings in 2012, with the majority to be reinvested. Further restructuring charges may be taken during 2012.
$100 million share repurchase program launched in OctoberOn October 1, 2012, QIAGEN launched a previously announced program under which it intends to purchase up to a total of $100 million of shares (excluding transaction costs). The first tranche, which totaled $10 million, was completed on October 18 with a total of 544,242 QIAGEN shares repurchased on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange at a volume-weighted average price of EUR 14.27. Repurchased shares will be held in treasury in order to satisfy various obligations for exchangeable debt instruments and employee share-based remuneration plans. Information on the progress of the program is available in the Investor Relations section of QIAGEN's website at http://www.qiagen.com. Successful completion of $400 million U.S. private placement debt offering QIAGEN has successfully completed a U.S. private placement through the issuance of new senior unsecured notes with a total amount of $400 million at a weighted-average interest rate of 3.66% (settled on October 16, 2012). Proceeds of the notes were used to repay an outstanding amount of EUR 170 million (approximately $220 million) on QIAGEN's revolving credit facility, and also provide additional financial resources to support longer-term business expansion. The success of QIAGEN's first offering in the U.S. private placement market, which was significantly oversubscribed, demonstrates the high level of confidence of U.S. investors in QIAGEN's solid financial position and long-term cash generating capacity. This transaction also contributes to the diversification of QIAGEN's investor base and benefits from highly attractive market conditions. Leadership change in Commercial Operations