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Buyout bids for Life Technologies fall short

20 Feb 2013

sale5_lrgPrivate equity firms Blackstone, KKR, Bain and TPG may have to sweeten their bids to acquire Life Technologies, while another potential buyer Thermo Fisher is reportedly having second thoughts about a deal.

According to a report by Reuters, the offers that have so far been made for the US-headquartered biotech group fell short of its expectations.

It also said S&P 500 group Thermo, which has expressed an interest in buying the business, is now skeptical about a deal as the sides are too far apart.

The report, which cited sources familiar with the matter, said the initial offers from Blackstone, KKR, Bain and TPG valued the business close to its current market cap of nearly $11bn.

In order to secure the approval of Life’s board, the bids have to be increased significantly, the report said, adding that rival buyers could still emerge.

Expectations of a takeover have driven the company’s share price up 30 per cent since mid-January, when it revealed that it had hired investment banks Deutsche Bank Securities and Moelis & Company to assist in its annual strategic review.

Thomson Reuters estimates that Life Tech is currently trading at 14.4 times its 12-month projected earnings versus a 13.4 times average for its peers. It also has an enterprise value of 9.1 times forward EBITDA versus the 7.9 average of its peers.

Last month it was reported that KKR, Blackstone Group, Bain Capital and TPG Capital were all interested in buying the group.

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