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Thermo Fisher sells cell culture, other businesses to GE

A GE logo is seen in a store in Santa Monica, California, October 11, 2010. GE will release its third quarter earnings on Friday. REUTERS/Lu
A GE logo is seen in a store in Santa Monica, California, October 11, 2010. GE will release its third quarter earnings on Friday. REUTERS/Lu

(Reuters) - Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc said it would sell three of its businesses to General Electric Co's healthcare unit for $1.06 billion, fulfilling a requirement for European antitrust approval to buy Life Technologies Corp .

The European Union cleared in November Thermo Fisher's $13.6 billion acquisition of Life Technologies, which will make it one of the top two genetic testing companies.

"The timing of this sale is likely to be a positive surprise for many investors...particularly as it is one of the last pieces of the puzzle for the Life (Technologies) transaction...," ISI Group analyst Ross Muken wrote in a note.

Thermo Fisher said its cell culture, gene modulation and magnetic beads businesses, expected to have combined revenue of about $250 million in 2013, will become part of GE Healthcare's life sciences business.

Thermo Fisher will sell a part of its cell culture business that produces liquids supplying nutrients to animal and plant cells grown in vitro to develop antibodies and vaccines.

GE said it will use the company's magnetic beads products, which are used in microbiology instruments, to add to its existing technologies in protein analysis and medical testing.

Thermo Fisher's gene modulation technologies will also aid GE in drug research, GE said in a statement.

Thermo Fisher said it does not expect any more divestures would be necessary to receive U.S. approval for the deal, which is expected to close early this year.

(Reporting by Esha Dey and Vrinda Manocha in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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