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Abbott said to agree to buy Alere at lower price

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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.

[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.

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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.

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