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Life Tech Initiates Second Milestone Payment for Ion Torrent

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Life Technologies has initiated the second and final milestone payment for Ion Torrent, as determined under the terms of its acquisition of the company in 2010, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week.

The $300 million milestone, which was achieved during the third quarter of 2011, is due to be paid in a combination of cash and stock this month. According to last week's filing, Life Tech has already issued 2,745,638 shares of common stock to the selling stockholders of Ion Torrent.

Life Tech shares closed at $46.35 on Jan. 17, the day the shares were issued, bringing the total value of the stock transaction to around $127 million.

The company did not say what the second milestone entailed, but earlier this month, Ion Torrent said it plans to launch a new sequencer this year, called the Ion Proton, that will be able to sequence a human genome in hours for $1,000 in reagent costs (IS 1/10/2011).

Life Tech acquired Ion Torrent in the fall of 2010 for an upfront payment of $375 million and up to $350 million in milestone payments.

Later that year, it paid Ion Torrent shareholders $50 million in cash and stock for the first milestone (IS 3/8/2011).

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