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Food Technology Service accepts $20.5M sale bid

NEW YORK (AP) -- Food Technology Service is being acquired by private equity firm GTCR for about $20.5 million.

Food Technology runs an irradiation facility that sterilizes medical device, packaging and food products. If the deal is completed it will become part of GTCR's Sterigenics International business, which runs 39 sterilization facilities around the world.

GTCR's offer, at or $7.23 per share, comes at a 28.4-percent premium to Thursday's closing price of $5.63. Shares of Food Technology Service Inc. traded as high as $6.75 in August.

The stock rose almost 28 percent to $7.19 in early trading.

The Mulberry, Fla., company said its board of directors recommends that shareholders approve the deal. Food Technology Services' biggest shareholder, the private equity firm Fort Ashford Holdings, will vote its shares in favor of the deal. FactSet says Fort Ashford owns 29.7 percent of Food Technology Services' shares.

The company had 2.8 million shares on the market as of Oct. 31.