The Wall Street Journal calls Carlsbad, Calif.-based Life Technologies (UNKNOWN: LIFE.DL ) an $11 billion "company you never heard of." As the Journal reports, a buyout group including private-equity powerhouses Blackstone (NYSE: BX ) , Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG ) , and KKR (NYSE: KKR ) is putting together an $11 billion bid to acquire the lab research equipment manufacturer. But as it turns out, Life is doing a bit of acquiring itself.
On Friday, Life announced that it has purchased South Korean reagents distributor KDR Biotech, its own primary distributor on the Korean Peninsula, for an undisclosed sum. Life averred in a statement that it will continue selling plastic ware and similar products -- which it does not itself produce but which KDR had been in the business of distributing -- in South Korea going forward. Life also intends to absorb all of KDR's current employees, and to also take on its CEO as an "external advisor" during the integration process.
Life Technologies shares gained 1.8% on Friday, closing at $68. The company currently commands an $11.6 billion market capitalization, higher even than the Journal's reported buyout offer from Life's private-equity suitors.