Genzyme has entered into an asset purchase agreement with Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp), selling its genetic testing business for $925m.

Under the agreement, LabCorp will acquire the business in its entirety, including all testing services, technology, intellectual property rights and nine testing laboratories.

Genzyme had previously signalled its intention to increase shareholder value by seeking alternatives for three units, in a move designed to strengthen the company following recent operational and organisational changes.

The Massachusetts-based biotechnology firm, which has recently been the subject of a takeover bid by Sanofi-Aventis, also plans to divest its diagnostic products and pharmaceutical intermediates units, with proceeds used to finance the second half of the company’s $2bn stock buyback.