Lawsuit says Thermo Fisher deliberately concealed information: WSJ

Fri May 10, 2013 10:19pm EDT

(Reuters) - A lawsuit filed on Friday alleged that laboratory equipment maker Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc (TMO.N) sold a Mexican plant last year without revealing that a drug cartel was operating there, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Reynosa, Mexico-based manufacturing facility, part of a larger deal between Opengate Capital Group LLC and Thermo Fisher, was occupied by gangsters from the Gulf Cartel, the Journal reported Saturday.

The private equity firm filed the lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles.

The report said the lawsuit alleged that Thermo Fisher acted in bad faith by withholding documents and directing employees to conceal the drug gang's presence at the facility.

Opengate alleged gangsters brandished weapons at employees and parked their cars and "tractor-trailers filled with unknown cargo" at the facility, the newspaper reported.

The firm did not specify damages sought, it said.

The suit said that the company rushed the negotiations and provided misleading answers to due-diligence inquiries, the newspaper reported. (r.reuters.com/byj97t)

Thermo Fisher, the world's largest maker of laboratory equipment and scientific instruments, agreed to acquire Life Technologies Inc LIFE.O in mid-April for more than $13 billion.

Thermo Fisher was not immediately available for comment outside normal U.S. business hours.

The company's shares closed at $84.46 on Friday on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Pallavi Ail in Bangalore, Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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