NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Opko Health  (OPK) - Get OPKO Health, Inc. Report were falling, down 8.26% to $17.54 on heavy volume in late morning trading Thursday, after the pharmaceutical company announced it will acquire Bio-Reference Laboratories (BRLI)  for roughly $1.47 billion.

As part of the all-stock deal, Bio-Reference shareholders will get 2.75 shares of Opko for every share they own.

The two companies expect the deal to be completed during the second half of 2015.

Opko said it will use the marketing, sales and distribution resources of Bio-Reference Labs to push sales.

J.P. Morgan acted as the financial advisor to Opko, while Allen & Company LLC was the financial advisor to Bio-Reference Labs. 

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Bio-Reference Laboratories are surging, up 34.83% to $44.45 today.

About 10.6 million shares of Opko Health have exchanged hands as of 11:06 a.m. ET today, compared to its average trading volume of about 3.12 million shares a day.

Miami-based Opko Health is a multi-national biopharmaceutical and diagnostics company.

The company is involved in developing a range of solutions to diagnose, treat and prevent various conditions, including point-of-care tests, laboratory developed tests, molecular diagnostics tests, and proprietary pharmaceuticals and vaccines. 

OPK data by YCharts

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