Covance to be acquired

North Carolina-based Laboratory Corp. of America, or LabCorp, will purchase Covance, one of Madison’s largest employers, for about $6.1 billion in cash and stock. Regulators and shareholders must still approve the deal, which will total about $5.6 billion, not including Covance debt. LabCorp has a facility in Milwaukee, and Covance employs about 1,800 workers in its Madison facility, which is one of the corporation’s largest.

Joe Herring will continue to lead the Covance division, and LabCorp Chairman and CEO David P. King will lead the combined company. Covance conducts drug safety trials and food analysis, and the transaction is expected to improve clinical trial research for pharmaceuticals.