Life Tech takeover gives Thermo 'leading brands' says analyst

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Life Technologies, San Diego, US
Life Technologies, San Diego, US

Related tags Life Federal trade commission Dna

Thermo Fisher Scientific completed its takeover of Life Technologies last night, just two days after the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved the $13.6bn deal. 

Like authorities in Europe​, China​ and New Zealand and Australia that have already cleared the acquisition, the FTC’s approval​ is contingent on Thermo divesting its HyClone media unit, Dharmacon siRNA reagent division and Sera-Mag magnetic bead business.

Thermo said it would sell the units to GE Healthcare last month​.

However, the firm will still operate in the three markets through Life Tech’s Gibco, Ambion and Dynal businesses which, while not giving it a monopoly, will give Thermo a dominant position according to ISI Group analyst Ross Muken.

Choosing to keep the leading brands was an obvious step​” Muken told, adding that “ultimately Thermo now can offer leading brands as well as cheaper private label reagents to address clients at all price points.”

Life Tech will become part of Thermo’s newly created Life Science Solutions unit and will be led by former COO, Mark Stevenson.

Thermo has not provided many other details of its integration strategy for Life Tech, however, the sale of facilities is a possibility according to Muken.

In terms of sites I don't know any specifics but they will execute against synergy targets. This is an obvious way to get there​.”

Neither has Thermo said how the HyClone divestiture will impact its facility network although changes are likely judging by what GE Healthcare Life Sciences’ VP of BioProcess, Nigel Darby, told us last month.

He said: “It is intended that the businesses will continue to operate from their respective facilities. The cell culture media and sera business will continue to be run from Utah, and the gene modulation business will continue to be run from Colorado.

Quite how this will impact Thermo’s single-use solutions business, which is also based at the Utah facility, is unclear. The firm did not respond to our request for comment ahead of publication.

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