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Icon buys UCT for $2m cash plus $18m deferred payments

CLINICAL research company Icon says it has acquired US laboratory UCT for $2m cash and some $18m in deferred payments.

UCT is a New York company which provides central laboratory services for clinical trials to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

It reported losses of $2m on net revenues of $10m last year, according to Icon finance director Peter Gray.

Mr Gray said that while UCT was marginally profitable this year, he did not expect the deal to be earnings enhancing in the current financial year to May 2001.

The UCT operations will be merged with Icon's existing central laboratory in Dublin. The combined business, called Icon Laboratories, will provide global laboratory services to Icon's clients.

Icon said it acquired UCT for an initial consideration of $2 million in cash and a capital investment of an additional $2 million.

It may pay up to $18m if UCT meets certain earnings targets over the next three years, though Mr Gray said he expected a payout in the $12m to $14m range was more likely.

Icon has also entered employment agreements with three senior managers of UCT.

Icon provides contract clinical research services to the pharmaceutical industry world-wide.

The company now has 18 offices in 11 countries and, following this acquisition, has over 1000 employees world-wide.

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