Exclusive: Thermo bids for Life Technologies as buyout firms circle - source

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc made a binding offer for Life Technologies Corp on Tuesday as private equity firms raced to finalize a consortium to take the genetic testing equipment maker private, several people familiar with the matter said.

Thermo Fisher met a bid deadline on Tuesday but private equity firms working on a joint bid missed it and were working late into the evening to secure the equity required to support an offer, the people said.

Blackstone Group LP , Carlyle Group LP and Singapore's state investor Temasek Holdings were in talks with KKR & Co LP about securing the required equity and finalizing a buyout consortium, the people said.

Life Technologies would likely accept an offer past the bid deadline to keep the process competitive, the people added.

Thermo Fisher, the world's largest maker of laboratory equipment, is bidding more than $65 per each Life Tech share, two of the people said. While the exact price could not be learned, Thermo had been considering a bid of $65 to $70 per share, sources said last week.

The private equity group would likely bid close to $65 per share, the people said.

Shares of Life Tech ended up 1.3 percent at $66.19 on Tuesday, giving it a market value of $11.3 billion.

The people asked not to be named because details of the auction are not public. Representatives for Life Tech, Thermo Fisher, KKR, Blackstone, Carlyle and Temasek declined to comment or could not be immediately reached for comment.

(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis and Soyoung Kim in New York)