Thermo Fisher Said to Seek Over $500 Million in Sale of Lab Unit

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO) is seeking a buyer for Cole-Parmer Instrument Co., the lab-equipment manufacturer that it acquired in 2001, people with knowledge of the matter said.

With about $50 million in annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, Cole-Parmer could fetch more than $500 million in a sale, said the people, who asked not to be named because the process is private. The sale price could go as high as $700 million, one of the people said.

Acquirers of scientific instrument makers in the past five years have paid a median of 10 times Ebitda, according to data compiled by Bloomberg on seven purchases. When Thermo Fisher acquired Dionex Corp. for more than $2 billion in 2011, it paid about 20 times the previous twelve months Ebitda, the data show.

Ron O’Brien, a spokesman for Thermo Fisher, didn’t reply to phone calls seeking comment on the sale.

Thermo Fisher, which reported Ebitda of $2.7 billion in the twelve months through March, has a market value of more than $46 billion. Cole-Parmer was acquired in 2001 by Fisher Scientific International Inc. for $205 million in cash. Fisher Scientific was later acquired by Thermo Electron Corp. for about $10.6 billion in stock to create Thermo Fisher.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Welch in New York at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeffrey McCracken at Mohammed Hadi, James Callan

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.