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PerkinElmer announced on Thursday it will acquire UK diagnostics company Oxford Immunotec in a deal worth $591 million.

The Waltham-based firm makes lab equipment and software for health care companies, drug companies, and food manufacturers, and the move will help the company expand its infectious-disease testing arm. Oxford Immunotec’s anchor product is a test kit used for diagnosing tuberculosis.

“Tuberculosis remains one of the leading infectious causes of death,” said Prahlad Singh, the chief executive of PerkinElmer, in a press release. “We believe Oxford Immunotec’s diagnostic testing solution plays an important role in slowing the spread and saving lives.”

Oxford Immunotec, which employs 275 workers worldwide, has about 50 employees in Massachusetts and an office in Marlborough.

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The acquisition, expected to close in the first half of the year, is a win for Oxford shareholders, who will be entitled to receive $22 in cash per outstanding share. The deal values the company’s shares at a 28 percent premium to their closing price Jan. 5, and a 54 percent premium to their average price over the past three months.

Oxford’s stock closed Thursday up over 26 percent at $21.88.

Peter Wrighton-Smith, the chief executive of Oxford Immunotec, said in a press release that “access to PerkinElmer’s global reach and automation experience will enable us to accelerate our growth journey and make a growing impact in the field of infectious disease.”

PerkinElmer brought in $2.9 billion in revenue last year, and it has around 14,000 employees worldwide.



Anissa Gardizy can be reached at anissa.gardizy@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @anissagardizy8.