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How Big Can Bio-Rad Get?

Executive Summary

Bio-Rad's having a great year, thanks to its presence in the fast-growing life sciences business of protein analysis, and its surprise success with a test for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Founder and CEO David Schwartz built the business based on a mix of eclectic product lines into an $800 million force in life sciences and clinical diagnostics. But as he nears 80, the company is grappling with succession issues, as well as a sense that it needs to better integrate its disparate businesses.

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