LIFE Shareholders Approve TMO Deal


The overwhelming approval from the shareholders of Life Technologies Corp. (LIFE) for its impending takeover by Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO) came as a sigh of relief. According to Life Technologies, in a special meeting of stockholders, on Aug 21, more than 98% of the shareholders of the company (representing more than 72% of the company’s outstanding shares) voted in favor of this merger agreement.

On Apr 15, Thermo Fisher disclosed that it will acquire Life Technologies for roughly $13.6 billion (or $76 per share), plus the assumption of Life Technologies’ net debt ($2.2 billion as of year-end 2012).

The acquisition, which is expected to close in early 2014, is now subject to standard closing conditions. LIFE shareholders’ support is considered to be a major positive and a big step forward for the deal to finally get through. The total price of the purchase of $13.6 billion includes cash and debt of $9.5–$10.0 billion and as much as $4.0 billion in equity.

From the financial perspective, the buyout is expected to be immediately accretive to Thermo Fisher’s adjusted earnings by 90 cents to $1.00 within the first full year of the takeover. Further, the acquisition is expected to create significant cost and revenue synergies for the company, with adjusted operating income synergies of $85 million in the first year.

From Life Technologies’ point of view, given the company’s expansive line of consumables for genomic and molecular and cell biology, the acquisition by Thermo Fisher will effortlessly strengthen the combined company’s global foothold and commercial reach.

Apart from revenue and cost synergies, we expect Life Technologies’ products, as part of the larger Thermo Fisher group, to fit well with the growing trend of lab-spending over the long term. It should also create a kingpin in the research, specialty diagnostics and applied markets, thereby making the joint company gain a competitive edge over other players in the market.

In addition, substantial expansion in the Asia-Pacific market, mainly China, is on the cards for the combined company. Given Life Technologies’ huge potential in the region and high growth rate in China, Thermo Fisher expects to exceed its goal of garnering 25% revenues from the high-growth Asia-Pacific region and emerging markets by 2016.

Currently, Life Technologies and Thermo Fisher both carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other medical stocks such as Alere (ALR), with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), along with Boston Scientific (BSX), carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), are worth considering.

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