NEW YORK, March 19 Roche Holding AG has
joined the bidding for Life Technologies Corp and hired
bankers to advise on a potential deal, while buyout firms KKR &
Co LP and Hellman & Friedman LLC have teamed up to
explore a joint bid, people familiar with the matter said.
Roche's interest in Life Tech, a biomedical laboratory
equipment maker with a $10.7 billion market value, signals the
Swiss drugmaker's continued interest in gene sequencing a year
after its $6.8 billion hostile offer for Illumina Inc
failed over price.
The potential bidders are joining what is turning out to be
a competitive auction, as cheap financing and growing confidence
about the U.S. economy prompt more companies and private equity
firms to contemplate deals costing more than $10 billion.
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc, Danaher Corp,
and a buyout consortium comprising Blackstone Group LP,
Carlyle Group LP, TPG Capital LP and Singapore's state
investor Temasek Holdings are among the parties weighing bids,
Reuters previously reported.
Bids are due in early April, the people said, asking not to
be named because details of the auction are not public.
Representatives for KKR, Hellman & Friedman and Life Tech
declined to comment. Roche said it does not comment on market