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FTC Orders Sale Of MDS Assets With Danaher Acquisition

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES The U.S. Federal Trade Commission will require the sale of MDS Inc.'s (MDS.T, MDZ) laser-microdissection business to ensure a competitive market after Danaher Corp.'s (DHR) purchase of the Canadian health-care conglomerate's analytical technologies business. Danaher and MDS are two of only four North American suppliers of the devices, which are used to separate small groups of cells--or even one cell--from larger tissue samples for testing. MDS will sell the Arcturus brand of laser microdissection devices to Life Technologies Corp. (LIFE). Industrial company Danaher agreed in September to buy MDS's analytical-techonologies business and a 50% stake in a joint venture for $650 million. Danaher will also pay Life Technologies $450 million for the rest of the stake in AB SCIEX, a mass-spectrometry business. "The commission's order will protect competition in the specialized and highly concentrated market for laser microdissection devices, leading to lower costs and increased innovation," said FTC Bureau of Competition Director Richard Feinstein. Danaher shares were recently down 1.4% at $73.04, while MDS stock was down 0.5% to $7.52. Life Technologies was down 0.5% to $48.27. Danaher reports its fourth-quarter results Thursday. -By Jay Miller, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2355; [email protected]

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