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magnetic bead separation, biomagnetic separation, magnetic particles

Thermo Fisher buys Life Technologies: lessons for Magnetic Bead companies of all sizes

             By Josep Maria Simó, CEO Sepmag

May 1st, 2013

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. – owner of the Seradyn magnetic beads brand – agreed to acquire laboratory-equipment maker Life Technologies Corp. – owner of the Dynal magnetic beads brand. Since two of the major players of biomagnetic separation technologies are due to merge efforts, we will closely follow strategic moves and developments from them.

In the meantime I asked myself: why are they merging? Why did Thermo Fisher agree to pay an impressive $14 billion for Life Technologies? Putting the companies together could lead to $275 million in savings from synergies. Fair, but not enough and I kept researching.

Life Technologies has three outstanding competitive advantages which made the company very attractive:

1. Technological innovation

Personalized medicine is a growing field where research is uncovering the hereditary underprints of diseases to better tailor treatments to patients. Genetic sequencing is an area that will become increasingly important over the years in terms of specialty diagnostics. Life Tech is considered no.2 in the race to produce faster and less expensive gene sequencing technology.

2. Unique customer value proposition

Sustainable business relationships are about creating and sharing value. Most dynamic and successful players in life sciences focus on unlocking the social and economic value of new technologies and develop innovative ways to share it with customers.

3. Expanding in emerging markets

The world is rapidly changing. Emerging markets provide new opportunities for growth. Companies need to develop new skills and adapt to new cultures. This is easy to say and difficult to do. Those who have already embarked on this exiting journey have a decisive competitive advantage. Life Tech has been successful in this.

How do our companies perform in these crucial strategic areas? The lesson all companies can learn from this deal –even small ones like Sepmag-  is that if we want to have a future at all we must master technological innovation, focus on customer value proposition and expand in emerging markets.


Lluis M. Martínez | SEPMAG Chief Scientific Officer

Founder of SEPMAG, Lluis holds a PhD in Magnetic Materials by the UAB. He has conducted research at German and Spanish academic institutions. Having worked in companies in Ireland, USA and Spain, he has more than 20 years of experience applying magnetic materials and sensors to industrial products and processes. He has filed several international patents on the field and co-authored more than 20 scientific papers, most of them on the subject of magnetic particle movement.

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