By Soyoung Kim
NEW YORK, March 5 Private equity firms including
Blackstone Group LP and Carlyle Group are
exploring a joint offer for Life Technologies Corp, a
biomedical laboratory equipment maker with a $10 billion market
value, two people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
The buyout consortium - which also comprises private equity
firm TPG Capital and Singapore's state investor Temasek Holdings
- is at a preliminary stage of discussions, and it remains
unclear if the group will proceed with a bid, the two sources
The group thinks Life Tech's stock price has reached a level
where it would be tough to make the economics of a deal
attractive, the sources added, asking not to be named because
the matter is not public.
The news came a month after the company, which is in the
middle of a strategic review, said that its board had made no
decisions about a sale and that it was open to all options.
Given the sheer size of a potential leveraged buyout
involving the Carlsbad, California-based company, private equity
firms were expected to team up for an offer, several sources
told Reuters as early as January.
Representatives for Life Tech, Temasek, Blackstone, Carlyle
and TPG declined comment.
Life Tech has held discussions with rivals such as Thermo
Fisher Scientific as well as buyout firms about a
potential sale, but most of the bidders have felt that a run-up
in the company's shares made a deal less desirable, people
familiar with the matter have told Reuters.
Shares of Life Tech have risen 26 percent so far this year
on expectations of a potential sale, after the company announced
in January that the board was working with Deutsche Bank and
Moelis to explore strategic alternatives.
The stock closed up 3.3 percent at $61.75 on Nasdaq on
Tuesday. Bloomberg News reported earlier in the day that the
private equity firms had joined forces to consider an offer for