cash. The move comes after J&J
announced its intent to buy Switzerland-based orthopedic device company
Synthes almost a year ago. J&J would fold
Synthes into DePuy Orthopaedics to
create, according to the company, possibly the largest orthopedics business in
the world. The anticipated acquisition
raised concerns with European antitrust
authorities due to its size, which
prompted Biomet’s agreement to acquire
a portion of DePuy Orthopaedics.
The European Commission in Brussels
said in November that it was concerned
that the merger of J&J and Synthes would
cause a rise in orthopedic device prices —
in other words, it would create a monopoly.
J&J had a hearing before European Union
antitrust regulatory officials in February.
J&J currently is working with European
antitrust authorities to finalize the acquisi-
tion of Synthes, while Biomet’s agreement
will expire on June 1.
Covidien Banks on Future of
Covidien has agreed to buy Israel-based
SuperDimension Ltd. for about $300 mil-
lion initially plus possible future payments.