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Whatman in Discussions for Possible Takeover

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – General Electric and Millipore are among a handful of firms that have been mentioned as bidders for UK-based life science research products firm Whatman, according to a report in today’s issue of the Financial Times.
According to the paper, investment bank Goldman Sachs, which has been appointed to oversee a sale of the company, held a second round of auctions last week. In addition to GE and Millipore, Danaher and Parker Hannifin were named as suitors as well.
In a statement issued this morning, Whatman confirmed that it has “received a number of preliminary approaches to acquire the company. The board is in discussions with third parties in relation to a possible offer for the entire share capital of Whatman.”
Whatman makes a wide variety of products that are used for life sciences research including filters, chromatography media and columns, nucleic acid and protein sample preparation products, and protein microarrays. The firm also sells diagnostic components and medical device filters.
The Financial Times said that Whatman could fetch nearly $600 million. The firm has a market capitalization of around $330 million, based on its Tuesday afternoon trading price of 250 pence.
Whatman said on Monday that it would report 2007 revenues of roughly £116 million ($229 million), flat with last year’s results.

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