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General Electric Co. agreed to buy businesses making equipment used to grow cell lines and purify DNA from Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. for about $1.06 billion.

The purchase of the cell culture, gene modulation and magnetic beads units will let GE bolster technologies for the discovery and manufacture of new medicines, vaccines and diagnostics, according to a company statement.

GE is focusing on acquisitions as it begins divesting the lucrative consumer-finance division this year and CEO Jeffrey Immelt said in December he saw a “lot of good deals.” Margins and earnings at the health care unit, which accounts for about 13 percent of the company’s total revenue, should improve this year, he said.

Thermo Fisher, the world’s biggest supplier of lab testing equipment by market value, agreed to sell the businesses in November to help get European regulatory approval for its $13.6 billion deal to buy Life Technologies Corp., which makes genetic testing and mapping equipment.

GE’s acquisition of the Thermo Fisher assets is expected to close in the first half of this year, pending regulatory approval.

GE fell 0.8 percent to $27.26 on Monday, while Thermo Fisher was little changed at $110.06.