Inverness Prices Secondary Public Offering, Nearly Doubling Its Size

In the middle of an acquisition spree that has hoovered up some $2.5 billion worth of companies in 2007 alone, Waltham, MA-based Inverness Medical Innovations (AMEX: IMA) today priced a previously announced secondary public offering of its stock, in the process nearly doubling the number of shares offered and boosting total value of the deal to $738 million.

This is the second such offering that Inverness—which is out to corner the market on point-of-care diagnostic devices—has made this year. In January, the firm sold 6.9 million shares at $39.65 apiece. The deal announced today includes 12 million shares (some 166,000 of them from stockholders) priced at yesterday’s close of $61.49. Ben Holmes, publisher of research firm Morningnotes, says that’s “pretty aggressive pricing in this environment.” What’s more, the offering includes almost twice as many shares as originally announced; when the firm initially filed for the offering last week it only intended to sell 7 million new shares.

Analysts are by-and-large pretty keen on Inverness (and clearly investors agree, given the recent run-up in the stock’s price). But David Trainer, president of independent research firm New Constructs, calls the firm “a bomb about to go off.” (See Malorye’s profile of Inverness from yesterday.) Inverness’s 2006 net loss was $16.8 million; its 2006 revenue was $569.5 million.

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