Thermo Fisher selling some businesses to GE unit for about $1.06 billion

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WALTHAM, Mass. – Scientific instrument maker Thermo Fisher is selling its cell culture, gene modulation and magnetic beads businesses to a General Electric Co. division for approximately $1.06 billion.

The businesses, which had combined annual revenue of about $250 million in 2013, will become part of GE Healthcare’s life sciences unit.

GE said that the transaction allows it to expand its offering of technologies for the discovery and manufacturing of new medicines, vaccines and diagnostics in its life sciences business.

GE said the deal is expected to close in the first part of 2014.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. said Monday that it is selling the businesses to speed up European Commission approval of its pending $13.6 billion acquisition of Life Technologies Corp. The company said that deal still needs approval from the Federal Trade Commission, but that based on talks with the FTC, it doesn’t believe any additional asset sales will be needed to receive U.S. approval.

Thermo Fisher said it is working with remaining jurisdictions to get the necessary approvals to complete the Life Technologies buyout as soon as possible. It still expects the deal to close early this year.

Shares of GE gained 8 cents to $27.56 in premarket trading. Thermo Fisher shares closed at $110.05 on Friday.

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