Becton Dickinson to buy Difco Laboratories

Maryland Watch

March 20, 1997

Becton Dickinson & Co. announced yesterday that it will buy Difco Laboratories Inc., which will become part of Becton Dickinson Microbiology Systems, with headquarters in Sparks.

According to company spokesmen, the transaction is unlikely to have any immediate impact on employment in Maryland. The company has about 1,700 employees in Sparks and in a facility in Hunt Valley.

Becton Dickinson, with corporate headquarters in Franklin Lakes, N.J., makes medical supplies and equipment, with revenue for the year ending in September of $2.8 billion. Closely held Difco, based in Detroit but with several manufacturing locations, in 1996 had revenue of $82 billion, excluding a division it sold two weeks ago.

Difco makes products and equipment to detect bacterial contamination in food, drugs, water and cosmetics. Becton Dickinson officials said Difco would fit in well with its infectious-disease diagnostic products.

The acquisition, terms of which were not disclosed, requires approval by regulators and Difco shareholders.

Becton Dickinson stock closed yesterday at $47.75 a share, up 75 cents for the day.

Pub Date: 3/20/97

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