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Aus and NZ clear Thermo Fisher takeover of Life Tech

By Joe Whitworth+

19-Dec-2013

Thermo Fisher Scientific's US$13.6bn takeover of Life Technologies has been cleared by the Australian and New Zealand competition commissions after the firm agreed to sell part of its business.

The clearance is conditional on Thermo Fisher selling its foetal bovine serum (FBS) business to a third party, said the New Zealand competition commission.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said it will not oppose the deal after concerns were resolved by Thermo Fisher's undertaking to sell its Australian cell culture business.

“The ACCC considered that in the absence of the undertaking, the proposed acquisition would substantially lessen competition for the supply of certain cell culture products, which are used to grow cells for academic research and vaccine production,” ACCC commissioner Dr Jill Walker said.

“Our market inquiries identified concerns about the strength of the merger parties in relation to foetal bovine serum (FBS). Life Technologies and Thermo Fisher are two of the three main suppliers of FBS to customers in Australia.”

It was cleared last month in the EU as long as Thermo Fisher sold its global HyClone cell culture and Dharmacon gene silencing businesses.

The firms produce a range of products for scientific applications and areas of product overlap include cell culture, transplant diagnostics, protein and molecular biology.

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