Fisher Scientific, trying to merge with Thermo Electron, will sell off product line to satisfy anti-trust concerns

Published 25 August 2006

A request for information from the FTC prompts company to consider selling Genevac, a $17 million solvent evaporation and concentration equipment manufacturer

When the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) comes calling, it is best to answer the phone, especially if they mention the word anti-trust. Fisher Scientific (NYSE: FSH), a provider of laboratory goods and services in wide use across the biotech industry, finds itself in this position in regards to a pending merger with Thermo Electron (NYSE: TMO), which specializes in analytical equipment such as mass spectrometers. The intent, in the words of a company spokeswoman, is to “create integrated lab work flow solutions, from sample preparation to analysis, interpretation and storage.”

Putting a wrinkle in these plans is the FTC, which has sent the two companies a request for additional information regarding what Fisher describes as a “single, minor product line.” A company spokeswoman identified the line for us as Genevac, which makes solvent evaporation and concentration equipment. In order to satisfy regulators and move the merger ahead quickly, Fisher will most likely spin off the $17 million company, although no firm decision has been made.

The new company will be named Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. and is expected to have 2007 revenues of more than $9 billion.

-read more in this AP report; see company Web sites: Fisher | Genevac | Thermo