US-based healthcare diagnostics company Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire US-based medical technology company Sequenom for a total enterprise value of about $371m.

LabCorp has created an acquisition subsidiary named Savoy Acquisition to complete the tender offer of purchasing all the outstanding shares of Sequenom valued at $2.40 each share.

Sequenom president and CEO Dirk van den Boom said: "Strategically, this transaction makes sense.

"The opportunities this transaction presents are significant and important both for our reproductive health business as well as our liquid biopsy strategy."

"LabCorp is the world's leading healthcare diagnostics company, providing comprehensive clinical laboratory and end-to-end drug development services.

“Sequenom is a pioneer in noninvasive prenatal testing for reproductive health.

"Over the last nine months, Sequenom has vastly enhanced its technology, operations, and business prospects.

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“The opportunities this transaction presents are significant and important both for our reproductive health business as well as our liquid biopsy strategy.”

According to LabCorp chairman and chief executive officer David King, the acquisition will add Sequenom's NIPT and genetic testing capabilities to enhance LabCorp's diagnostic solutions portfolio which will witness the addition of the clinically validated NIPT test (MaterniT 21).

The noninvasive prenatal NIPT test aids in identifying extra or missing parts of chromosomes or whole chromosome changes in the foetus, within ten weeks of pregnancy.

The tender offer and the merger is conditioned to the customary closing conditions enlisted in the merger agreement, including Savoy acquiring majority of Sequenom's outstanding shares at the time of implementing the tender offer.

It is also subject to the expiration or early termination of the waiting period defined under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

Approved by the board of directors of Sequenom, the potential transaction is expected to be completed at the end of this year.

During the transaction, Sequenom will be served by JP Morgan as the financial advisor and Cooley as the legal advisor.

LabCorp will be assisted by Barclays as the financial advisor and Hogan Lovells will provide legal advice.