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Lab-kit makers link up in multibillion-dollar deal

A scientific-instrument company has pulled off one of the largest business deals of 2013 so far.

Thermo Fisher Scientific of Waltham, Massachusetts, has announced that it will buy Life Technologies, a biotechnology equipment manufacturer based in Carlsbad, California, for US$13.6 billion.

Life Technologies is a large player in the genome-products market, supplying sequencers, PCR machines and reagents. Thermo Fisher is known for more old-school scientific equipment and analytical technologies, although it also sells a substantial number of kits to biotech labs.

As part of the deal, Thermo Fisher will take on around $2 billion in debt from Life Technologies.

In a statement, the companies said that their deal would help researchers working in proteomics, genomics and cell biology. Subject to a vote by Life shareholders, they expect to complete the transaction in early 2014.

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