May 19, 2011 at 16:00 PM EDT
bioMérieux Becomes the World Leader in Food Testing with AES Laboratoire Acquisition

bioMérieux, a world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics, has signed an agreement to acquire AES Laboratoire, a leading French group, specialized in industrial microbiological control, for 183 million euros. This will be bioMérieux’s ninth acquisition in five years and its third in the area of industrial applications.

Founded 30 years ago, the AES Laboratoire group, AES CHEMUNEX’s parent company, ranks fifth among industrial microbiology companies worldwide, with annual sales* of 76 million euros**. The company has close to 400 employees, with R&D and manufacturing sites located in France and Canada, in addition to four commercial subsidiaries. Commercial and administrative headquarters are based near Rennes (France).

“This acquisition fits perfectly with bioMérieux’s strategy. The quality of AES Laboratoire’s product offering will enable us to reinforce our leadership position in industrial applications,” declared Jean-Luc Bélingard, Président Directeur Général of bioMérieux. “We are convinced that AES Laboratoire’s outstanding entrepreneurial spirit, imparted by its founder and chairman, Mr. Le Roch, and deep understanding of market dynamics, provide a solid foundation for our future development. We feel very fortunate to have such an experienced and talented team join our company,” he added.

Alain Le Roch, Chairman of the AES Laboratoire group, added: “Over the past 30 years, AES Laboratoire has gained unique expertise and innovative technologies, including ultra rapid and sensitive microorganism detection solutions. Choosing an alliance with bioMérieux offers the best perspectives for growth, especially on a global scale.”

bioMérieux’s and AES Laboratoire’s product lines are highly complementary. An expert in all steps of microbiological analysis, AES Laboratoire has products spanning applications for the food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries. The company’s offer includes a complete portfolio of conventional and novel culture media, rapid microbiology testing methods, and laboratory instruments. AES Laboratoire has a leadership position in cytometry for the detection of microorganisms, with an innovative range of flow cytometers and a unique solid-phase cytometer, ChemScan® RDI. The company also provides a range of services, as well as software for laboratory monitoring and metrology.

“AES Laboratoire’s innovative solutions, especially in lab automation and rapid microbiology, are aligned with our 2015 strategic goals. We will be leveraging bioMérieux’s extensive global commercial network to make AES Laboratoire’s technologies more broadly available, providing bioMérieux and AES Laboratoire customers with the most comprehensive product offering worldwide,” said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of bioMérieux.

AES CHEMUNEX’s unique expertise in the agri-food and cosmetic sectors will support bioMérieux’s growth strategy. bioMérieux intends to further develop and invest in AES Laboratoire’s cytometry solutions and other promising platforms, reinforcing the company’s strong competitive position.

bioMérieux is acquiring 100% of the shares of SKIVA (holding company of the AES Laboratoire group), from funds managed by Abénex Capital, the group’s majority shareholder since 2003, other investment funds (managed by EPF Partners, Fortis PE France, BNP Paribas) and the management. The transaction should close during the third quarter and is subject to antitrust approval.

About bioMérieux

Advancing Diagnostics to Improve Public Health

A world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics for over 45 years, bioMérieux is present in more than 150 countries through 39 subsidiaries and a large network of distributors. In 2010, revenues reached €1.357 billion with 87% of sales outside of France.

bioMérieux provides diagnostic solutions (reagents, instruments, software) which determine the source of disease and contamination to improve patient health and ensure consumer safety. Its products are used for diagnosing infectious diseases and providing high medical value results for cancer screening and monitoring and cardiovascular emergencies. They are also used for detecting microorganisms in agri-food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.

bioMérieux is listed on the NYSE Euronext Paris market (Symbol: BIM – ISIN: FR0010096479). Other information can be found at www.biomerieux.com.

* Annual sales estimates at March 31, 2011, excluding Agrobio (divested on May 17, 2011)

** Comprised of about 62 million euros for its own products and 14 million euros for distributed products

Contacts:

Investor Relations
bioMérieux
Isabelle Tongio, + 33 4 78 87 22 37
investor.relations@biomerieux.com
Media Relations
bioMérieux
Koren Wolman-Tardy, + 33 4 78 87 20 08
media@biomerieux.com
or
Pure Communications
Kathryn Cook, 910-239-5098
kathryn@purecommunicationsinc.com
or
Image Sept
Laurence Heilbronn, + 33 1 53 70 74 64
lheilbronn@image7.fr
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