Qiagen of the Netherlands says that its North American unit has agreed to buy early-stage US genetic analysis company eGene in a cash and share deal valued at $34 million.

The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of 2007, subject to regulatory and shareholder approval, and will add about $2 million to Qiagen's sales in the second half of 2007 and about $7-$9 million in 2008. One-time charges related to the deal are expected to reduce Qiagen's earnings per share by about $0.01 in the second half of 2007 and to be earnings-neutral in 2008.

Qiagen said that eGene's HDA genetic analysis system would help customers improve workflow and raise laboratory productivity. The system “also permits a new dimension of ease of use and automation, freeing up the researcher's time for more important endeavours," the Dutch firm’s chief executive Peer Schatz added.

His counterpart at eGene, Ming Liu, said that “given the leadership in molecular diagnostic technologies and sales, marketing and operational resources, we believe the combined companies can expand and accelerate the availability of our technologies into the market."