LabCorp acquisition of LipoScience passes hurdle

LabCorp’s acquisition of Raleigh-based LipoScience has passed one hurdle.

The two companies announced Wednesday that the Federal Trade Commission has granted early termination of a waiver period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antritrust Improvements Act of 1976.

The deal still needs to be approved by LipoScience stockholders.

LabCorp reached an agreement last month to acquire LipoScience for $85.3 million. Burlington-based LabCorp is paying $5.25 per share for the company.

LipoScience makes a diagnostic test called LipoProfile that measures lipoprotein particles in the bloodstream that cause arterial plaque buildup and lead to heart disease. LabCorp is LipoScience's largest customer, accounting for about 35 percent of all the tests the company sells.

LipoScience's board of directors has unanimously approved the deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

The agreement includes a "go-shop" provision allowing LipoScience to entertain and solicit other takeover proposals until Sunday.

LipoScience has struggled since raising $44.4 million in a public stock offering in January 2013. The company employs about 180 people, including 120 in Raleigh.