Synthes Confirms Takeover Chatter With Johnson & Johnson

Swiss medical technology group Synthes has announced that it is in acquisition talks with healthcare giant, Johnson & Johnson (J&J). 

Reportedly, the takeover bid is worth close to $20 billion (€14 billion). 

‘In response to market speculation, Synthes confirms that it is engaged in discussions with Johnson & Johnson about a potential business combination transaction,’ Synthes says. The company, which is one of the world’s largest makers of devices that treat bone fractures and trauma, added that it could not provide further details or any assurances about the potential transaction.

Meanwhile, J&J declined to comment on the speculation.

If the transaction closes, Synthes would become one of the biggest acquisitions in J&J’s 125-year history and would give the New Jersey-based company a lead in the medical equipment sector. 

According to Bloomberg, it would boost J&J’s share of the market for trauma care by providing a series of hip screws, surgical power tools and instruments to treat spinal and soft-tissue injuries. These accounted for $3.69 billion worth of sales in 2010.

Recently, Synthes’ shares rose 12 per cent in Zurich trading, the largest intraday increase since August 2003. The stock rose SFr8.60, or 6.2 per cent, to SFr147.30, giving the company a market value of SFr17.5 billion ($19.5 billion), Bloomberg says.