J&J/Synthes Good To Go… If J&J Sells Wrist Fracture Business

In short

According to a news release from Reuters agency, Johnson & Johnson has, as expected, won U.S. antitrust approval to buy Swiss medical device company Synthes Inc if it sells its system for surgically treating serious wrist fractures, and related assets (to Biomet Inc.), the Federal Trade Commission said on Monday.

Background

Be forgiven anyone who thinks “surely that happened ages ago”. It hadn’t, but now it has.

At last, after due consideration both sides of the pond, the deal is close to closure, with the news, as reported by Reuters, that the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had given it the thumbs up subject to J&J disposing of its wrist business.

The company had already agreed to dispose of its trauma business as a condition set by the European Commission into the deal, back in April, in a deal worth $280M.

“J&J and Synthes are direct competitors for these important systems used in the surgical treatment of traumatic wrist fractures,” said Richard Feinstein, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition as he explained why the caveat was being introduced. The two companies constitute around 70% of the market for plating systems used to surgically repair fractures in the radius.

The deal is now expected to close in the next few days, as we predicted last week.

Company comments

“We are pleased with the FTC’s clearance of our acquisition of Synthes and look forward to moving ahead to closing,” said Johnson & Johnson spokesman Alfred Wasilewski.

Source: Reuters