US laboratory equipment maker Thermo Fisher Scientific was near a deal to buy biotech firm Life Technologies for some $12.8 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported online.
The sides were in exclusive talks Sunday and a deal could come as soon as Sunday or Monday, the report said.
Thermo Fisher was offering about 75 dollars per share for Life Technologies. The latter closed Friday at 68 dollars a share.
Life Technologies, a star on molecular and cellular biological fronts, made a profit of 438 million dollars on sales of 3.8 billion dollars.
Recently it moved into genetic sequencing machinery and believes it can significantly reduce the cost of mapping individual consumers' human genome, or full genetic makeup.