A Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE:TMO) acquisition of Life Technologies Corp. (NASDAQ:LIFE) appeared close to completion Sunday, with the purchase price seemingly in the area of $12 billion.

Since the Life Technologies board announced on Jan. 18 its hiring of Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and Moelis & Co. LLC to help in its strategic review, the company has attracted the interest of at least three serious bidders: a private-equity consortium led by the Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX), the Sigma-Aldrich Corp. (NASDAQ:SIAL) and Thermo Fisher.

Life Technologies had requested the bidders' final offers by Friday, both Bloomberg News and Reuters reported, with each citing two sources familiar with the matter.

Thermo Fisher and Life Technologies are attempting to complete the deal by Monday, with the purchase price at more than $70 per share, a little above LIFE's close of $68.00 on Friday and a lot above its close of $54.97 on Jan. 17. Of course, there is no guarantee the parties will be able to do it, the sources who spoke to Bloomberg News and Reuters said.

Assuming the completion of the deal, however, it would bring together two of the larger names in the medical laboratories and research industry: Thermo Fisher, based in Waltham, Mass., has a market capitalization of $28.46 billion, and Life Technologies, headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif., has a market cap of $11.59 billion. The industry itself has a market cap of $166.20 billion.

Again assuming the completion of the deal, it would be the biggest in the same market space since the 2006 blockbuster merger of the Thermo Electron Corp. and Fisher Scientific International Inc. that created Thermo Fisher Scientific. Reuters reported that combination was valued at $12.8 billion.