Thermo Fisher close to $12bn Life Tech deal

THERMO Fisher Scientific is close to buying genetic testing equipment maker Life Technologies for more than $12bn (£7.82bn), two people familiar with the matter said yesterday.

Life Tech’s 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 $12bn, the people said.

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

Thermo and a private equity consortium, as well as Sigma-Aldrich, a maker of chemicals for research laboratories, submitted another round of bids on Friday after Life Tech asked for “best and final” offers, the people said.

The people asked not to be named because the matter is not public. Thermo, Life Tech and Sigma-Aldrich did not respond to requests for comment.

Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group, KKR & Co and Temasek Holdings, which are part of the buyout consortium, could not immediately reached for comment.

Thermo Fisher has been quite acquisitive in recent years, buying Phadia for $3.5bn in 2011 and Dionex for $2.1bn in 2010. Life Technologies said earlier this year it was facing a “strategic review.”