Thermo Fisher takes over Life Technologies for $13.6 Billion

15.04.2013 -

Life Technologies has accepted a $13.6 billion cash buyout proposal from scientific and laboratory instruments company Thermo Fisher Scientific in one of the year's biggest corporate takeovers.

The deal, announced on Monday, values Life Tech, a leading genetic testing equipment maker at $76 per share and catapults Thermo Fisher into the hot field of genetic sequencing, where researchers, drugmakers and doctors are uncovering the hereditary factors underpinning diseases to better tailor treatments to patients. The offer represents a premium of about 12% to Life Tech's market close on Friday.

Thermo Fisher expects the transaction to close early in 2014 and immediately add to earnings before special items. It still requires U.S. regulatory and shareholder approvals.

Thermo Fisher will also assume Life Tech's net debt of about $2.2 billion. In the third year following the deal's closing, the company said it expected to achieve cost savings of $250 million by consolidating facilities and support functions.

Life Technologies explored a sale after previous attempts by Chief Executive Officer Gregory Lucier to boost the value of the company's stock and capture more market share from rival Illumina Inc proved unsuccessful.

Illumina had already demonstrated the appeal of gene-sequencing companies that help analyze a person's genetic blueprint to develop personalized medical treatment. Drugmaker Roche Holding had made a $6.8 billion hostile offer for Illumina last year but walked away when the company demanded a higher price.

Thermo Fisher's products range from basic scientific equipment, such as test tubes, to advanced mass spectrometry equipment used to determine the chemical structure of molecules. It also sells chemicals, agents and antibodies used in the manufacturing and research of biotech medicine, and in recent years has increased its portfolio of products for testing air and water quality and food safety.

The Life Technologies deal would boost Thermo Fisher's presence in scientific research, genetic analysis and applied sciences. Thermo Fisher has been quite acquisitive in recent years, buying Phadia for $3.5 billion in 2011 and Dionex for $2.1 billion in 2010.

Thermo Fisher has obtained committed bridge financing from J.P. Morgan and Barclays, which also acted as the company's financial advisers.

Life Tech' board met on Saturday to review three takeover offers.

Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday the company chose Thermo Fisher over Sigma-Aldrich, a maker of chemicals for research laboratories, and a private equity consortium consisting of Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group, KKR & Co and Temasek Holdings.