Complete Genomics, a struggling DNA sequencing company in Silicon Valley, said on Monday that it had agreed to be acquired for $117.6 million by BGI-Shenzhen, a Chinese company that operates the world’s largest sequencing operation.

The price of $3.15 a share represents an 18 percent premium to Complete Genomics’ closing price on Friday and a 54 percent premium to the closing price on June 4, the day before the company announced that it would fire 55 employees to save cash and that it had hired an adviser to explore strategic alternatives.

The deal, which will be carried out by a tender offer, is the latest sign of consolidation in the rapidly changing and fiercely competitive market for DNA sequencing. The price of determining the DNA blueprint of a person is tumbling and sequencing is starting to be used for medical diagnosis, not just for basic research.

In 2010, Life Technologies acquired Ion Torrent, and earlier this year, Illumina, the leading manufacturer of sequencing machines, successfully fought off a $6.2 billion hostile bid from Roche.

Complete Genomics, based in Mountain View, Calif., pioneered a new model, offering sequencing as a service instead of selling sequencing machines to laboratories that would do the work themselves.

While Complete Genomics gained a good reputationand charged low prices of around $5,000 per human genome for large orders, it never was able to make money at that price.

The company lost $39.1 million, or $1.16 per share, in the first half of 2012. Revenue was $12.6 million, about even with the first half of 2011, owing in part to problems Complete experienced in scaling up its operations. The stock is well below the $9 price of its initial public offering in November 2010 and the company said in regulatory filings that it might not be able to continue as a going concern.

Read the full article here.