The US healthcare group Johnson & Johnson is to buy Swiss medical devices maker Synthes for the equivalent of 14.8 billion euros.
It is Johnson & Johnson’s largest ever purchase and will boost its orthopaedic business.
Synthes, which posted sales of 2.5 billion euros last year, makes nails, screws and plates to fix broken bones, as well as artificial spine discs.
“Orthopaedics is a large and growing $37 billion (25 billion euros) global market and represents an important growth driver for Johnson & Johnson,” said Bill Weldon, J&J’s chairman and chief executive.
The medical device sector has been consolidating as companies seek economies of scale and new business areas, but analysts doubt anyone will want to take on Johnson & Johnson with a counter-bid for Synthes and J&J is seen as the only logical industrial buyer.