• Origin Technologies offers $1.5 billion or $16.10 a share
  • Rival bid comes from group of former Affymetrix executives

Origin Technologies Corp. offered about $1.5 billion to buy medical technology company Affymetrix Inc., topping a bid from Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.

Origin Technologies said it would pay $16.10 a share in cash, 15 percent more than the $1.3 billion Thermo Fisher proposed in January. The company expects to be able to complete the transaction by the end of the second quarter, it said Friday.

Thermo Fisher had agreed to buy Affymetrix for $14 a share in cash, more than 50 percent above its closing price before the offer was made public. A month later, Affymetrix said a competing suitor had raised its bid for the company twice, sending shares above the bid price. The stock closed at $14.02 on Thursday.

Origin Technologies is owned by a group of former Affymetrix executives including Wei Zhou, who had been the vice president of intellectual property and advanced technology. The company was formed specifically to acquire Santa Clara, California-based Affymetrix, which produces technology used by scientists and biologists to analyze specimens at the cellular and genetic level. Affymetrix customers include drugmakers and consumer-product companies as well as government researchers.

The appetite for such technology is growing, as advances make gene sequencing more widespread and affordable for everything from cancer analysis to evolutionary genetics, Origin Technologies said, citing a global market opportunity of about $46 billion.

The offer includes covering the $55 million termination fee due to Thermo Fisher as well as a $75 million reverse termination fee. SummitView Capital will finance the deal. After completion, Origin Technologies would have the option of combining Affymetrix with Centrillion Technologies, another company started by the former executives.

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