Thermo Fisher Nears $12 Billion Life Tech Deal - Sources

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Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc (TMO.N) is close to buying genetic testing equipment maker Life Technologies Corp (LIFE.O) for more than $12 billion, two people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

Thermo Fisher

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc (TMO.N) is close to buying genetic testing equipment maker Life Technologies Corp (LIFE.O) for more than $12 billion, two people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

Life Technologies' board, which met on Saturday to review three takeover offers, chose Thermo Fisher as the top bidder after the world's largest maker of laboratory equipment raised its bid on Friday to the low $70 per share range, or more than $12 billion, the people said.

A deal could come as soon as Monday, but terms of the agreement are being finalized and the negotiations could still fall apart, the people said.

Waltham, Massachusetts-based Thermo Fisher and a private equity consortium, as well as Sigma-Aldrich Corp (SIAL.O), a maker of chemicals for research laboratories, submitted another round of bids on Friday after Life Technologies asked for "best and final" offers, the people said.

The people asked not to be named because the matter is not yet public. Thermo Fisher, Life Technologies and Sigma-Aldrich did not respond to requests for comment. Blackstone Group LP (BX.N), Carlyle Group LP (CG.O), KKR & Co LP (KKR.N) and Temasek Holdings, which are part of the buyout consortium, could not immediately reached for comment.

An acquisition of Life Technologies would boost Thermo Fisher's presence in scientific research, genetic analysis and applied sciences and make it a major player in the genetic sequencing market, creating a healthcare technology giant with annual revenues of over $16 billion and some 50,000 employees.

Also it would be by far its biggest deal since the $12.8 billion merger in 2006 of Thermo Electron and Fisher Scientific International that created the world's largest maker of scientific equipment and laboratory instruments.

Carlsbad, California-based Life Technologies, which has a market value of $11.6 billion and debt of about $2.4 billion, sought a higher price from bidders after receiving committed offers on Tuesday, the people familiar with the matter said.

The private equity consortium also raised its offer on Friday from $65 to about $67 per share, short of Thermo Fisher's bid, one of the people said. The price and structure of the offer from Sigma-Aldrich, which has a $9.2 billion market value and has been working with Morgan Stanley on the offer, could not be obtained. Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

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