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FTC Asks MDS, Danaher for More Info; Anticipated Closing of Deals Pushed Back to Q1 2010

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The US Federal Trade Commission this week asked both MDS and Danaher for more information concerning the proposed sale of MDS Analytical Technologies to Danaher, pushing back the anticipated closing of deals that would create a new mass spec giant in Danaher to the first quarter of 2010.

The request is the FTC's second request for information and relates to a global market segment that the two companies anticipate will generate less than $50 million in revenues annually for all sellers combined, MDS said in a statement. In an e-mail a spokeswoman for MDS said that a second request from the FTC usually is for more information about products and markets, but declined to provide any more details.

The sale of MDS Analytical Technologies is part of a $1.1 billion purchase by Danaher that was announced in September [See PM 09/10/09]. Danaher is paying MDS $650 million for Analytical Technologies and its half of its mass spectrometry joint venture with Life Technologies' Applied Biosystems. Danaher is paying Life Tech $450 million for its half of the joint venture.

The second request extends the waiting period under the Hart Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 30 days from the date of the companies' compliance with the request. As a result, the deal between Danaher and MDS is expected to close in the first quarter of 2010. Both firms had previously said they expected to close the complete $1.1 billion transaction in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The closing of the Danaher-Life Tech deal is also now anticipated to be in Q1 2010.

In late October, MDS announced 99 percent shareholder approval of the sale of the Analytical Technologies business and its half of the mass spec JV to Danaher.

The proposed acquisitions by Danaher would instantly make it a major player in the mass spec market, in which it currently does not have a presence.

Last week Life Tech reported a 2 percent rise year over year in its mass spec sales to $111 million for the third quarter [See PM 10/30/09]. MDS reported in September that revenues for Analytical Technologies slid 10 percent year over year to $94 million for its fiscal third quarter.

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