Life Technologies hired the firms to seek an acquirer for the company, the Canadian newspaper reported late yesterday. Deutsche Bank and Moelis have approached at least four private- equity firms, including Blackstone Group LP (BX), KKR & Co., TPG and Carlyle Investment Management LLC, the newspaper said. Life Technologies, based in Carlsbad, California, has a market value of $9.5 billion.
“The board of directors has not decided on any specific course of action,” Life Technologies said in a PRNewswire statement today after the report. The board hired the firms “to assist in its annual strategic review,” the company said.
Gene-sequencing companies such as Life Technologies and Illumina Inc. (ILMN) are attractive as takeover targets because their technology can be used to provide a blueprint of a person’s DNA, information that may eventually be used to diagnose disease, identify the risks of certain conditions or better target medicines. Roche Holding AG (ROG), the world’s biggest maker of cancer drugs, failed last year in a hostile bid for Illumina.
Life Technologies began a strategic review last fall and hopes to reach a deal by February, the newspaper said, citing documents it had seen and people familiar with the process. Life Technologies may fetch $65 to $75 a share, the Financial Post reported, without saying where it got the information.
Life Technologies rose 9.2 percent to $60 at 7:10 a.m. New York time in trading before U.S. exchanges opened.
Roche backed away from a $6.7 billion bid for Illumina last year after investors asked for a higher offer. Roche doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation, Daniel Grotzky, a spokesman for the Basel, Switzerland-based company, said by e-mail in response to a question about Life Technologies.
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