Thermo Fisher may sweeten offer for Millipore

Anxious to expand into the biotech business, Thermo Fisher Scientific is reportedly considering bumping its $6 billion-plus-debt bid to buy out Millipore.

A source close to the buyout talks tells Bloomberg that the current bid is less than $95 a share and a sweetened offer could close the deal as early as next week. Doing some back-of-the-envelope calculations, the business news service calculated that Thermo Fisher's current offer amounts to about $92 a share. Millipore shares hit at $94.05 4 p.m. yesterday. Its shares jumped 22 percent on Monday as rumors started to float through the investment community.

After days of rumors Millipore confirmed earlier in the week that it had brought in Goldman Sachs to help guide it through a strategic review and deal-making phase. And Bloomberg also quotes sources saying that Millipore raised the prospect of a merger with General Electric, which is unlikely to make a move.

Millipore has a big presence in the biotech industry as a leading supplier of life sciences lab equipment. The company has 6,100 workers around the world and the Boston Globe notes that 1,000 of them serve the biotech cluster in Massachusetts. As Thermo Fisher also has a big presence in Massachusetts, a merger could trigger significant job cuts in the state.

- here's the report from Bloomberg