Invitrogen to Acquire Research Firm for $325 Million

The company agrees to buy Molecular Probes of Eugene, Ore.
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Biotechnology company

Invitrogen

(IVGN)

said Wednesday that it will buy molecular and cell-biology research company Molecular Probes for $325 million in cash.

Privately held Molecular Probes, based in Eugene, Ore., specializes in fluorescence-based technologies for use in labeling molecules for biological research and drug discovery. Molecular Probes had $56 million in revenue in 2002 and is expecting total sales of $66 million in 2003.

Invitrogen, based in Carlsbad, Calif., expects the transaction to add to its pro forma earnings in 2003 and "substantially" boost its 2004 pro forma earnings. The deal, which has been approved by the boards of both companies, is expected to close in the third quarter.

"Molecular Probes helps position Invitrogen as a key partner in the drug discovery and development process," said Greg Lucier, CEO of Invitrogen. "It will broaden our technology base in proteomics, providing critical tools for discovery research and the accurate determination of protein function."

Shares of Invitrogen closed at $38.52 Tuesday on the

Nasdaq

.