Report: Life Tech may have found a buyer after all

Life Technologies CEO Greg Lucier

The hot and cold rumors over a potential Life Technologies ($LIFE) sale have swung back toward the former, as Bloomberg's sources say a team of private equity outfits are exploring an offer for the sequencing giant.

Blackstone, Carlyle and TPG are talking to banks about getting the financing together, the news service reports, and bids for Life are due next month.

If all that turns out to be true, we still don't know just how big that bid might be. Initial rumors put Life's price tag at around $12 billion, but the company's share price has soared since then, closing at $61.75 on Tuesday. Analysts figure any serious buyout offer would have to come in at around $75 per share, making for a total of about $15.7 billion.

A couple weeks ago, Reuters reported that Life's success on the Street had made it too pricey for the likes of Thermo Fisher ($TMO), said to be eyeing the company, and the private equity magnates doing the same .

But that doesn't rule out a leveraged buyout by three heavyweights, as Bloomberg's anonymous tipsters say, and the news service reports that CEO Greg Lucier would prefer it that way, as he'd like to remain in charge and dealing the company to a competitor like Thermo would likely rule that out.

Meanwhile, Life's core business keeps growing. The company posted $999 million in sales last quarter, a 3% jump, and Life figures it will grow 3% to 5% in 2013, good for between $3.9 billion and $4 billion in revenue.

- read Bloomberg's report

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