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Thermo Fisher-Life Tech Deal Clears EC Hurdle

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The European Commission has approved Thermo Fisher Scientific's $13.6 billion purchase of Life Technologies, Thermo Fisher said today.

Thermo Fisher will sell its cell culture, gene modulation, and magnetic beads business in order to expedite the approval, it said, adding that the businesses to be divested had combined revenues of $225 million in 2012.

Goldman Sachs analyst Isaac Ro said in a note today that the three businesses comprised less than 2 percent of Thermo Fisher's total revenues.

"[W]e do not believe these businesses were significant contributors to organic growth, and do not see these requirements as altering the strategic appeal of the proposed transaction," he said.

The brands to be sold as part of the divestiture include HyClone, Dharmacon, Open Biosystems, and Sera-Mag, and potential buyers for the businesses could include Bio-Rad Laboratories, Merck KGaA, Sigma-Aldrich, and Techne, ISI Group's Ross Muken said.

The deal still needs to be approved by the US Federal Trade Commission, as well as Chinese regulators. Based on discussions with FTC, Thermo Fisher said that it does not believe it will need to divest additional businesses in order to gain approval with the agency. The deal is anticipated to close in early 2014.