Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc.
is in talks to combine with fellow life-sciences company
NV in a deal that would be worth more than $10 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
The talks have been going on for a while but any agreement isn’t likely for another few weeks or more—and there may not be one.
Qiagen had a market value of nearly $10 billion as of Friday’s close, while Bio-Rad’s was nearly $13 billion.
A deal between Qiagen and Bio-Rad would be the latest tie-up in the medical-diagnostic market, which has grown as the pandemic helped increase demand for testing. Last year,
paid more than $7 billion for Grail, which sells blood tests for detecting cancer, a market potentially worth $50 billion worldwide.
Hercules, Calif.-based Bio-Rad makes products for life-science research and clinical diagnostics. Its customers include university and research institutions, hospitals, public-health and commercial laboratories and biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms. The company, which employs about 7,900 people, had revenue of $2.9 billion in 2021, according to its website.
A Netherlands-based holding company with headquarters in Hilden, Germany, and Germantown, Md., Qiagen has developed technologies that isolate and process DNA, RNA and proteins from blood, tissue and other materials. The company has more than 500,000 customers and employs more than 6,100 people in over 35 locations worldwide.
Qiagen was going to be bought by
for about $10 billion in 2020, but the acquisition fell through after shareholders rejected it. Last year, Thermo Fisher paid about $17 billion for contract-research company PPD.
Should the latest merger talks bear fruit, it would be one of the biggest transactions in recent months. Rising interest rates and rampant inflation have caused valuations to plummet and financing to freeze up, leading to a dry spell for deal-making.
Healthcare has remained relatively active as companies seek combinations that will give them scale and help them compete in a changing marketplace.
Cano Health Inc.,
for example, is attracting interest from major industry players including
CVS Health Corp.
, just a month after CVS agreed to buy home-health provider
Signify Health Inc.
for some $8 billion.
—Jonathan D. Rockoff contributed to this article.
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