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Agilent Technologies’ $246.2 million acquisition of fellow biotech company Stratagene Corp. illustrates that consolidation is big these days in the health sciences, said LATHAM & WATKINS partner Thomas Edwards, whose firm represented Stratagene. As in more established fields, biotech businesses are finding that mergers create economies of scale, he said. “I think there’s consolidation in business generally that’s going on,” Edwards said. “Larger organizations can handle business more efficiently than smaller ones in a lot of areas.” That means that once a smaller company gets its legs under it, it becomes ripe for acquisition. “Larger businesses want companies that are stable and profitable,” the San Diego partner said. “A lot of developmental businesses go through their R&D, periods where they’re losing money and getting on their feet.” Fenwick & West partner Douglas Cogen led the team working on behalf of Santa Clara’s Agilent, and said the deal, negotiated entirely by phone, was straightforward. Also, as with most tech deals, intellectual property played a key role in negotiations, he said. “IP is critical to the value of the transaction � [to] the value of the company, the strategic fit, how the acquirer’s products can be used,” he said. “They’re all vital pieces of why these companies exist.” Cogen said the acquisition will help Agilent strengthen its biological diagnostics business. Joining his team from Fenwick were partners Lynda Twomey and Sergio Garcia of the San Francisco office, and Scott Spector, Blake Martell and Mark Ostrau from the Mountain View office. Also working from Mountain View were associates Rochelle Levy Karr, Spencer Glende and Christa Gaines. Cogen also said Agilent attorneys Marie Huber, Monifa Clayton, Richard Evans and Bridget Logterman deserved recognition. Helping Edwards represent La Jolla-based Stratagene in the deal were L.A. Latham partner Samuel Weiner, and associates Eric Stier, Brian Wolfe, Holly Bauer and Noel Brock, all from the San Diego office.

Jessie Seyfer

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