Ivax Corp. announced Monday that it intends to acquireJohnson Products Co. Inc. in a merger worth up to $73 million.

Through the acquisition, Ivax of Miami is strengthening itspresence in the cosmetics, dermatology and skin-care markets.

Under the terms of the merger, each outstanding share ofJohnson Products' common stock (ASE:JPC) will be convertedinto the right to receive one share of Ivax common stock(ASE:IVX). If the average price of Ivax's common stock for the10 trading days preceding the closing is more than $29 or lessthan $24.50 (it closed Monday at $25.25, unchanged for theday), the conversion ratio will be adjusted so that eachoutstanding share of Johnson Products' stock will be convertedinto the right to receive a number of Ivax common shareshaving a value equal to $29 or $24.50, respectively.

With approximately 2.5 million shares of Johnson Products'stock outstanding, this makes the merger worth from $61 to$73 million. Ivax has about 68 million shares outstanding.

Ivax Corp. is a holding company with subsidiaries involved inspecialty chemicals, medical diagnostics, and pharmaceuticals,as well as cosmetics and skin care.

The business of Chicago-based Johnson Products, whichmanufactures and markets personal care products designedprimarily for African American consumers, is complementaryto several of the businesses that Ivax is pursuing, according toPhillip Frost, chairman and chief executive officer of Ivax.

"It is an excellent fit with Flori Roberts Inc., our cosmetics andskin care subsidiary, which also focuses parts of its business onAfrican American consumers, and with Baker CumminsDermatologicals, our dermatological and skin care company,which markets an established line of medicated shampoos,conditioners and other skin care products," Frost said.

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