DUBLIN, Ireland - Trinity Biotech plc expects its US$2 million acquisition of the Microzyme line of hormone and drugs-of-abuse tests from Diatech Inc. to add about US$0.02 to its earnings per share (EPS) from the beginning of next year.

Trinity reported US$0.06 EPS in fiscal 1997 and US$0.01 for the first quarter of this year.

Dublin-based Trinity acquired 15 products from Diatech, of Boston, a subsidiary of Healthcare Technologies Inc., for US$1.7 million plus a further US$300,000 for associated inventories.

The Irish company is paying for the acquisition through a combination of an up-front cash payment of US$350,000 and loan notes redeemable at intervals spread over a 24 month period, said chief financial officer, Jonathan O'Connell. It is not issuing any new stock to effect the transaction.

The product line delivered revenues of US$1.6 million last year with a margin of about 50 percent, but Trinity Biotech does not expect the acquisition to be accretive until it brings manufacturing in-house.

“There's a transfer process. At the moment, they're manufacturing for us,“ O'Connell said. Trinity will relocate all the manufacturing to its Jamestown, N.Y., facility by the beginning of next year. “I really don't expect much this year at all from it,“ he added.

The microtiter tests, all of which are FDA-approved, are aimed at the laboratory market. They include tests for hormones such as thyroid-stimulating hormone, T3 and T4, and tests for drugs such as cocaine and opiates.

The acquisition will broaden Trinity's distribution network, according to the company.

It already has about 130 distributors and partners in 75 countries, but the Microzyme product line will take it into several new markets, particularly smaller countries in Latin America and eastern Europe, O'Connell said. - Cormac Sheridan