Life Technologies said today it acquired its primary instrument distributor since 1994, Life Science Korea (LSK), for an undisclosed price. LSK holds distribution rights to Life Tech’s Applied Biosystems® products, including next-generation sequencing instruments, Sanger sequencing systems, forensics and PCR products.
LSK serves more than 1,000 customers in academia, government, pharmaceutical, biotech, hospitals and applied markets. Under the terms of the acquisition, the LSK name will become part of Life Technologies Korea, though the consolidation will likely be ultimately shaped by the pending $13.6 billion acquisition of Life Tech by Thermo Fisher Scientific, a deal announced April 15.
Three days earlier, Life Tech completed the acquisition of its primary Korean reagent distributor since 1982, KDR Biotech Company Ltd. (KDR Biotech), also for an undisclosed price.
"The acquisition of LSK is in line with our go-direct strategy in South Korea and builds on our current capabilities and platforms in this important market," Mark Smedley, president of Life Tech’s Asia Pacific Japan region, said in a statement. "The combination of Life Technologies Korea and LSK—bolstered by our recent acquisition of consumables distributor KDR—enables us to offer one channel to serve the many different needs of our South Korean customers and to create a superior purchasing experience."
With its KDR and LSK acquisitions, Life Tech aims to better position itself for capitalizing on South Korea’s growing biotech industry. The industry is expected to grow further as the national government carries out its Bio-vision 2016 life sciences initiative—formally known as the Second Framework Plan for Biotechnology Promotion.
Launched in 2006, Bio-vision commits South Korea to becoming one of the world’s top seven biotechnology nations, growing its industry to KRW 60 trillion ($53 billion) from KRW 2.7 trillion (about $2.4 billion) in 2006. Bio-vision includes a series of goals that include a near-doubling of postgraduate degree recipients to 17,300 from 9,500 in 2006; a leap from 12th to 7th rank worldwide in peer-reviewed science and tech papers published; and a leap from 15th to 7th rank worldwide in technology patents.
Last year, Life Tech generated $898.2 million in sales across the Asia Pacific region, up 8.5% from 2011’s $827.9 million—but more importantly, accounting for nearly a quarter (23.6%) or total 2012 revenue of nearly $3.8 billion.