November 25, 2020

DealBook: Johnson & Johnson Holds Deal Talks With Synthes

Johnson Johnson is in talks to buy Synthes, a Swiss medical equipment maker, for a deal potentially worth $20 billion, a person briefed on the matter told DealBook.

A sale would be among the biggest health care mergers in recent years and the largest ever by Johnson Johnson.

Discussions are continuing and may still fall apart, this person cautioned.

Shares in Synthes closed up 6.2 percent on Friday at 138.70 Swiss francs, amid speculation that the company was in talks for a potential transaction.

Synthes, which is based in West Chester, Pa. but is listed on the Swiss stock exchange, is a big manufacturer of implants to repair bone fractures, as well as surgical power tools. North America accounts for roughly 60 percent of the company’s revenue.

Its largest shareholder is its chairman, Hansjörg Wyss, who with his family owns about 47.8 percent of the company.

A 1965 graduate of Harvard Business School who joined Synthes in 1977, Mr. Wyss is the second-wealthiest person in Switzerland, with Forbes estimating his net worth at about $6 billion. He donated $125 million to Harvard University in 2008, the biggest single gift in the history of the school.

Representatives for Johnson Johnson and Synthes were not immediately available for comment.

News of the talks was first reported by The Wall Street Journal online.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=2dd9a5015997cb0f42d2741382a4dffb

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