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[BEIJING] Abbott Laboratories has agreed to buy Alere Inc at a lower price than previously offered, closing a legal battle over the merger between the two health companies, the Financial Times reported, citing unidentified people close to the matter.
Abbott agreed to buy Alere at US$51 per share rather than the previous offer of US$56, the FT reported Friday. Abbott had sued to break up its earlier $5.8 billion takeover of medical-device maker Alere, arguing the deal target hid material information about legal and regulatory problems.
The transaction has been dragging on for more than a year as Alere disclosed subpoenas on bribery investigations, restated earnings and recalled products - escalating to the Abbott suit in December.
The new agreement, valuing Alere's equity at US$4.4 billion, was expected to be announced imminently, the FT reported.
Calls to both companies outside of regular business hours went unanswered.
The offer is 21 per cent more than Alere's closing share price Thursday of US$42.31. Abbott shares ended Thursday at US$42.67. Markets in the US are closed for the Good Friday holiday.