Quest Diagnostics buys Athena Diagnostics
Quest Diagnostics, Inc., a global leader in diagnostic testing, information and services, announced
that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Athena Diagnostics, an esoteric laboratory, from its parent company Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc.
For the purchase price of $740 million in an all-cash transaction, Madison, N.J.-based Quest Diagnostics will now benefit from Athena Diagnostics’ services, which include genetic testing for neurological disorders.
Athena Diagnostics is the leading provider of advanced diagnostic tests used to either confirm or disprove physicians’ diagnoses of neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, neuromuscular disorders like Spinal Muscular Atrophy and developmental disorders.
Based in Worcester, Mass., Athena provides a comprehensive test menu and intellectual property portfolio for neurological conditions through more than 350 diagnostic tests.
Quest Diagnostics offers access to diagnostic testing services through its network of laboratories and patient service centers, and provides interpretive consultation through its extensive medical and scientific staff.
Serving both patients and doctors, Quest Diagnostics led the way with developing diagnostic tests and advanced healthcare information technology solutions that help improve patient care.
will establish the company as a true leader in this emerging market of neurological testing that represents the next significant growth area for diagnostics.
“Athena’s leadership in neurology, including its robust product pipeline and intellectual property assets, will complement Quest Diagnostics’ existing leadership in testing for cancer, infectious disease and cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Surya Mohapatra, chairman and chief executive officer of Quest Diagnostics.
In 2010, Athena Diagnostics generated about $110 million in revenue, and is growing at a rapid rate. This purchase agreement is expected to close early in the second quarter of 2011, so long as it adheres to customary conditions.
“We expect to further accelerate Athena’s growth by supplementing its specialty sales organization with Quest Diagnostics’ extensive sales force, to sell into our broader customer base,” Mohapatra continued.
He added that Quest Diagnostics is confident that Athena will be seen as the primary provider for diagnostic testing as new and earlier therapies are developed for neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.
Should the close date arrive as expected, Athena is slated to add about 1 percent to Quest Diagnostics’ 2011 revenue growth. Quest plans to finance the transaction initially with cash on hand and available credit facilities.
Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Vice President of Corporate Communications Karen Kirkwood told WinmoEdge that since the acquisition was just signed, she felt it was a bit too premature to address any marketing-related questions in detail.
“I know that Athena has marketed its services in the past through its direct relationships with physicians,” she said. “I don't imagine that this overall strategy will change much, but any questions about marketing strategy will be for the new owner, Quest, after the close.”
Kirkwood added that the most exciting aspect of this deal is the close alignment that Athena has with Quest as a contract lab services provider, which will offer excellent opportunities for growth.
Parsippany, N.J.-based Siegel+Gale
has helped with strategic branding efforts since 2009.
The Nielsen Company reported that Quest Diagnostics spent about $100,000 on national advertising efforts in 2009. About $70,000 was spent on B-to-B initiatives, about $30,000 was allocated to local magazine ads and about $2,000 was put toward spot television commercials.
The Nielsen Company also reported that Athena Diagnostics’ current parent company, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc., spent $1.2 million on media in 2009. About $100,000 was put toward B-to-B efforts, $10,000 toward outdoor ads and about $3,000 toward Internet ads.
Quest Diagnostics, Inc.
3 Giralda Farms
Madison, NJ 07940
Surya N. Mohapatra, Ph.D.
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Athena Diagnostics, Inc.
Four Biotech Park
377 Plantation Street
Worcester, MA 01605
Vice President, Sales & Marketing
Vice President, Marketing
President & Chief Executive Officer