CORRECTED-Corning gets U.S. approval to buy Becton assets, with conditions

Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:34pm EDT

(Corrects name of Becton in headline from Benton)

* Deal valued at $730 million when it was announced

* Corning to bring Sigma-Aldrich online as competitor

* Glassmaker Corning has been hurt by lagging TV sales

WASHINGTON, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Specialty glass maker Corning Inc has won U.S. approval to buy a division of Becton Dickinson & Co that makes specialized labware, but must help Sigma-Aldrich Co enter that market, the Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday.

The value of the deal was given as $730 million when it was announced in April.

Corning, which makes a variety of glass, plastics and ceramics, agreed to provide assets and assistance to Sigma-Aldrich Co so it can begin manufacturing containers such as dishes for culturing cells and other containers, the FTC said.

Corning will supply the products to Sigma-Aldrich until its manufacturing plant is up and running.

Corning and the Becton Dickinson division being purchased are the largest suppliers of specialized dishes used by researchers in some cell culture work. There are two smaller providers, and the arrival of Sigma-Aldrich into the market would restore competition, the FTC said.

Corning's management had said during an investor presentation in February that it planned to make acquisitions in its life sciences business to boost slowing demand for television glass.

In early afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Corning shares were down 0.2 percent at $11.80, and Becton Dickinson rose 0.1 percent to $75.43.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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