Exclusive: Thermo bids for Life Tech; PE firms finalizing offer - sources

Tue Apr 9, 2013 9:59pm EDT
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By Greg Roumeliotis and Soyoung Kim

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc made a binding offer for Life Technologies Corp on Tuesday as private equity firms raced to finalize a consortium to take the genetic testing equipment maker private, several people familiar with the matter said.

Life Tech, with a current market value of more than $11 billion, has become an attractive target due to its strength in advanced diagnostics and gene sequencing and if Thermo Fisher were to prevail, the deal would make it a major player in the genetic sequencing market.

It would be also 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.

Thermo Fisher met a bid deadline on Tuesday but private equity firms working on a joint bid missed it and were working late into the evening to secure the equity required to support an offer, the people said.

Blackstone Group LP, Carlyle Group LP and Singapore's state investor Temasek Holdings were in talks with KKR & Co LP about securing the required equity and finalizing a buyout consortium, the people said.

Life Technologies would likely accept an offer past the bid deadline to keep the process competitive, the people added.

Thermo Fisher is bidding more than $65 per each Life Tech share, two of the people said. While the exact price could not be learned, Thermo had been considering a bid of $65 to $70 per share, sources said last week.

The private equity group would likely bid close to $65 per share, two separate people said.   Continued...