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Tecan to Replace CEO, Seek Candidate With Mergers Background

Oct. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Tecan Group AG, a Swiss maker of laboratory equipment, plans to replace Chief Executive Officer Thomas Bachmann within a year and said it would “value” merger-and-acquisition experience in his successor.

The board of Maennedorf-based Tecan decided to replace Bachmann in a meeting yesterday after a yearlong discussion about bringing “new skills and competencies” into the company, Chairman Rolf Classon said on a teleconference with analysts today. Tecan announced the succession plan today in a statement.

The manufacturer wants a candidate with “a deep, long background in the life-science industry,” Classon said. Experience in mergers and acquisitions “is something that we will look at” as one of the criteria, he said, without elaborating.

Bachmann, 52, became CEO in 2005 at a time when Tecan had “a somewhat questionable reputation,” and has done “a very good job leading and guiding” the company, Classon said.

Tecan fell 2.25 Swiss francs, or 3.6 percent, to 60.60 francs in Zurich trading, giving it a market value of 693.5 million francs ($757 million) and extending its decline this year to 22 percent.

The company said on Sept. 30 that a project to develop a diagnostics instrument was delayed, leading to higher costs. A month earlier, Tecan raised its full-year sales forecast. The plan to replace Bachmann wasn’t related to any event in the past and is “no criticism” of the departing CEO, Classon said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Simeon Bennett in Geneva at sbennett9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at pserafino@bloomberg.net

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