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Smiths Group, ICU Medical in talks about medical division merger

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By Ben Martin and Kanishka Singh

(Reuters) – British engineering firm Smiths Group Plc <SMIN.L> is in very early stage discussions about a potential combination of its medical division with U.S.-based ICU Medical Inc <ICUI.O>, the British group said on Sunday.

There is no certainty that a transaction will be concluded from the talks, Smiths Group said in a statement that did not disclose any of the financial details under discussion.

Sky News and the Financial Times had reported earlier on Sunday that the two companies were in talks.

Smiths Group had been exploring options for some time for its medical business, the FT had reported.

Sky News said the talks could culminate in a joint venture.

ICU Medical did not respond to a request for comment outside regular business hours.

The British engineering company had reported a lower than expected first-half profit in March.

The company’s largest unit, Smiths Medical, was hit by delays to new product launches and revenues at the division fell 5 percent to 451 million pounds ($600.2 million) for the first half of the year.

Smiths, a provider of hospital equipment, industrial services and sensors to detect explosives, had said in March that its pre-tax profit fell 12 percent to 217 million pounds for the six months ending on Jan. 31, with revenues falling by 4.3 percent to 1.55 billion pounds.

ICU Medical reported its first quarter results earlier in the month with revenues of $372 million and net income of $4.9 million.

(Reporting by Ben Martin in London and Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Jane Merriman and Daniel Wallis)

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