A consortium formed by SD Biosensor (SDB) and SJL Partners has signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire diagnostic products manufacturer Meridian Bioscience in an all-cash deal valued at approximately $1.53bn.

According to the deal terms, the shareholders of Meridian Bioscience will receive $34 per share in cash, which represents a 16% premium based on the one-month average price per share of common stock starting 7 June.

Meridian Bioscience develops, produces, markets and distributes a range of diagnostic products in areas that include upper respiratory infections, gastrointestinal and blood lead level testing.

The company also provides critical life science raw materials that are used in immunological and molecular tests for human and plant applications.

SDB and SJL will fund the transaction through a combination of cash on hand and additional financing.

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Meridian CEO Jack Kenny said: “In addition to delivering immediate and significant value to our shareholders, we believe the transaction will enhance our ability to serve customers as we navigate the decline in Covid-19 testing demand and develop new products with the benefit of SDB’s industry expertise and complementary offerings.

“I look forward to working with SDB and SJL and the rest of our Meridian team to build long-term strength and drive further growth in the diagnostics space.”

The transaction is subject to Meridian shareholders’ approval, receipt of required regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. It is anticipated to conclude in the fourth calendar quarter of the year.

Once the deal closes, SD Biosensor is expected to hold about 60% of Meridian while the remaining 40% will be held by SJL.

The consortium plans to operate the acquired company as an independent entity, and its leadership team, as well as headquarters, are expected to remain the same.

Last November, Meridian Bioscience secured emergency use authorization (EUA) for its Revogene SARS-CoV-2 assay from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).