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Beckman Coulter to pay final dividend

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 10:45am
The Associated Press

Medical testing instrument maker Beckman Coulter Inc. said Tuesday it will pay a quarterly dividend of 19 cents per share.

The dividend is payable on March 13 to stockholders of record on March 3.

The company expects it to be the final dividend payout pending completion of the merger with Danaher Corp.

Danaher Corp. said Monday it agreed to buy Beckman Coulter for about $5.87 billion. Danaher valued the purchase at $6.8 billion including Beckman Coulter's debt and its cash on hand. Danaher agreed to pay $83.50 per Beckman Coulter share, a 45 percent premium over Beckman's share price on Dec. 9 — the day before the acquisition rumors first surfaced.

Two leading credit ratings agencies on Tuesday placed medical and industrial instruments maker Danaher's credit ratings under review for possible downgrade because of the acquisition announcement.

Moody's Investors Service analyst Michael Mulvaney wrote in a note to investors late Monday that the review will consider risks including Danaher's higher leverage and the integration risk "given recent challenges to Beckman Coulter's operations." But he acknowledged potential strategic benefits from the acquisition including an enhanced presence in life sciences and cost and capital disciplines that Danaher can bring to Beckman Coulter.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Service also said Monday that it placed Danaher's "A+" corporate rating on credit watch with negative implications.

Beckman Coulter, which is based in Brea, Calif., had reportedly put itself up for sale in December.

Its shares rose 9 cents to $82.74 in afternoon trading.

Danaher shares rose 63 cents to $49.66. They've traded between $34.90 and $50.36 in the past year.

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