Axis-Shield agrees £235m sale to Alere

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The medical diagnostics firm Axis-Shield has agreed to be bought by its larger peer, Alere, after the US group ended a three-month battle by increasing its offer to £235m.

Axis-Shield shares rose 4 per cent to 468p, below the 470p per share level of the new bid. Its Afinion system competes with Alere's Cholestech LDX machine, which measures cholesterol levels.

Axis-Shield rejected Alere's bid of £230m in July. Alere then took the 460p offer directly to Axis-Shield's shareholders, and last week raised its stake in the firm to 30 per cent.