Exclusive: Thermo Fisher nears $12 billion Life Tech deal - sources

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc is close to buying genetic testing equipment maker Life Technologies Corp for more than $12 billion, two people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

Life Tech's board, which met on Saturday to review three takeover offers, chose Thermo Fisher as the top bidder after the world's largest maker of laboratory equipment raised its bid on Friday to the low $70 per share range, or more than $12 billion, the people said.

A deal could come as soon as Monday, but terms of the agreement are being finalized and the negotiations could still fall apart, the people said.

Thermo and a private equity consortium, as well as Sigma-Aldrich Corp , a maker of chemicals for research laboratories, submitted another round of bids on Friday after Life Tech asked for "best and final" offers, the people said.

The people asked not to be named because the matter is not public. Thermo, Life Tech and Sigma-Aldrich did not respond to requests for comment. Blackstone Group LP , Carlyle Group LP , KKR & Co LP and Temasek Holdings, which are part of the buyout consortium, could not immediately reached for comment.

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