May 16, 2018 / 11:25 AM / 9 months ago

UPDATE 1-Zoetis to buy veterinary diagnostics firm Abaxis for $1.9 bln

(Adds details on deal)

May 16 (Reuters) - Animal health company Zoetis Inc said on Wednesday it would buy Abaxis Inc, a maker of veterinary diagnostic instruments, for about $1.9 billion in cash to bolster its position in the fast-growing diagnostics market.

Zoetis has offered Abaxis $83 per share, a premium of 15.7 percent to its closing price on Tuesday.

The transaction will add to Zoetis' earnings next year and the company will fund the purchase through cash and new debt.

Abaxis' products include devices that detect, prevent and treat diseases in animals. The company gets 83 percent of its annual revenue from diagnostic products and services for the veterinary market.

The deal is expected to close before the end of the year.

Guggenheim Securities and Barclays were Zoetis' financial advisers, while Piper Jaffray advised Abaxis.

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz was Zoetis' legal adviser. Cooley LLP provided legal counsel to Abaxis. (Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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