Healthcare Business News

Thermo Fisher divesting three units to GE to help get OK for $13B acquisition

By Jaimy Lee
Posted: January 6, 2014 - 1:15 pm ET

Thermo Fisher Scientific plans to divest three businesses to GE Healthcare for about $1 billion to facilitate regulatory approval of a $13 billion acquisition of Life Technologies Corp.

Thermo Fisher had announced in April that it planned to acquire Life Technologies, a Carlsbad, Calif.-based manufacturer of genetic tests and testing used by the forensics and food-safety sectors. Thermo is a Waltham, Mass.-based life-sciences firm and manufacturer of scientific equipment.

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Thermo Fisher will divest its cell culture, gene modulation and magnetic beads businesses, which generated about $250 million in revenue last year, to GE to address requirements set out in November by the European Commission for the Life Technologies deal.

Ross Muken, a senior managing director for ISI Group, called the divestiture “one of the last pieces of the puzzle for the Life transaction to move toward ultimate completion.” He noted that there were likely several bidders for the businesses.

The Life Technologies deal still requires regulatory approval from the Federal Trade Commission but Thermo Fisher said it does not expect the FTC to require additional divestitures. It's expected to close early this year.

“In addition to providing us with new approaches to drug discovery and biomedical research, this acquisition is a significant step forward for our customers in biopharmaceutical manufacturing,” said Kieran Murphy, president and CEO of GE Healthcare's life sciences business. “They will benefit immediately from an expanded range of “start-to-finish” technologies that will help them improve product yields and reduce time-to-market.”

Follow Jaimy Lee on Twitter: @MHjlee

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