GE finalizes $1B Thermo Fisher Scientific deal, snatches up 3 business units

GE Healthcare ($GE) completed its acquisition of three Thermo Fisher Scientific ($TMO) units. The $1.1 billion deal gives GE access to Thermo Fisher's profitable cell culture, gene modulation and magnetic bead businesses, helping the company expand its presence in protein analysis and medical diagnostics.

In addition to gene modulation and magnetic beads, GE will inherit Thermo Fisher's Hyclone cell culture media and sera products. The company will use the technology to ramp up its existing work in cell biology research and biomanufacturing. Thermo's diagnostic and cell culture products delivered $250 million in sales revenue in 2013, the Waltham, MA-based company said in a release. If all goes to plan, GE will use the acquisition to boost its $4-billion-a-year offerings in the life sciences.

"GE Healthcare has built a world-class set of technologies for the life sciences sector, and these new businesses will strongly enhance our current offerings," said Kieran Murphy, CEO of GE's Life Sciences unit, in a statement.

GE is not the only party that stands to benefit from the deal: By selling off three of its units, Thermo Fisher hoped to expedite its merger with Life Technologies ($LIFE). The company bought Life for $13.6 billion in 2013, but European regulators only agreed to the deal if Thermo divested some of its business lines.

Meanwhile, GE plans on using its new technology to expand its reach in emerging markets. The company installed biopharma manufacturing equipment at JHL Biotech's Research Center and manufacturing plant in Taiwan in 2013 and is erecting similar FlexFactory equipment at a new plant in China. Earlier this year, GE inked a deal with a new R&D center in India to develop new med tech products, The Economic Times reported. Through its deal with Thermo Fisher, GE will increase its cell culture media production capabilities in Asia, the Americas and Europe, Murphy said.

"As well as providing us with new tools for drug discovery and biomedical research, our customers in biopharmaceutical manufacturing will benefit straight away from an expanded range of 'start-to-finish' technologies that will help them improve product yields and reduce time-to-market," he said.

- read the release

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