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Corning To Buy Bulk Of Becton Dickinson's Lab Products Unit For $730 Million In Cash

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Corning Inc. (GLW) plans to pay roughly $730 million in cash to acquire the bulk of Becton Dickinson & Co.'s (BDX) lab products business, snapping up a portfolio it said will significantly increase its presence in the life-sciences market. With sales of roughly $235 million expected this year, Corning Chief Executive Wendell P. Weeks said the Discovery Labware unit will expand Corning's annual life-sciences revenue by 40% and move it closer to its goal of being a $1 billion business by 2014. "The Discovery Labware unit's extensive product portfolio and established dealer network will significantly improve Corning Life Sciences' offerings to customers and is a critical part of Corning's long-term growth strategy," Weeks said. The purchase, seen closing later this year, excludes the unit's advanced bioprocessing platform. It is expected to begin adding to Corning's earnings in 2013. "Life Sciences is an attractive growth industry and has low capital intensity. We expect this acquisition to provide a stable stream of incremental cash flow to Corning as we become a more balanced company," said Corning Chief Financial Officer James B. Flaws. Corning, the world's largest maker of liquid-crystal-display glass for TVs has been struggling recently as lackluster television demand has created a massive headwind for electronics retailers, set manufacturers and suppliers like Corning. The company in January reported its fourth-quarter profit slumped 53% and said it plans to cut capacity in its LCD glass business, as weak demand is leading to "significant" price declines. Corning shares were recently up 10 cents to $13.58 in premarket trading. Shares of Becton Dickinson were also trading slightly higher at $77.25. -By Mia Lamar, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3207;

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