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PE Catches Third Wave

Executive Summary

PE Biosystems Group now controls about 43% of the worldwide market for DNA sequencing, sequence detection, and protein analysis. It's a position worth protecting--it was clearly a major contributor to the $1.2 billion in sales generated by PE Biosystems in 1999. The group obviously has a lot riding on PCR. Little wonder, then, that it has made a practice of actively working with emerging companies and emerging technologies that could complement its own vital technology--or perhaps, displace it. The company would lose a fortune if a competing technology somehow obviated PCR…unless, of course, PE Biosystems could absorb that contender. It appears that PE has made just such a strategic acquisition, to protect its position as the market leader. On January 24th, PE Biosystems said it would acquire Third Wave Technologies Inc. of Madison, Wisconsin, in a stock-for-stock transaction that values the small private firm founded in 1993 at a hefty $287.7 million.

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