CareFusion to Buy GE Healthcare's Vital Signs Unit

In an announcement today, CareFusion (NYSE: CFN  ) disclosed it would be purchasing GE (NYSE: GE  ) Healthcare's Vital Signs division for $500 million. The press release noted that the Vital Signs unit, with its 1,000 employees, is a "leading manufacturer of single-patient-use consumables for respiratory care and anesthesiology," and has annual revenue of approximately $250 million.

CareFusion highlighted that the acquisition will allow it to expand its Specialty Disposables business through additional global scale and allow it to be a market leader in the $3 billion market for anesthesia and respiratory consumables. For the 2013 fiscal year, the Specialty Disposables business of CareFusion had $283 million in total revenue, and represented approximately 8% of the total revenue at the medical technology company.

CareFusion noted the addition of Vital Signs from GE will allow it to expand in international markets, change its Specialty Disposables business from being a distributor to an integrated manufacturer, and also allow it to recognize $10 million to $15 million in operating synergies.

"We are confident this transaction will provide Vital Signs new capabilities to maximize its opportunities in the medical consumables space and enable GE Healthcare's Life Care Solutions segment to remain focused on its core strengths as a provider of medical device solutions," said Tom Gentile, GE Healthcare's Healthcare Systems division president and CEO, in the press release. "We believe CareFusion is equipped to unlock the growth potential of Vital Signs with a solid focus and strategy around medical consumables."

The transaction is anticipated to close in the U.S., China and other countries by the end of 2013, and be complete by the end of March 2014. CareFusion anticipates neutral to modest growth in its adjusted earnings per share as a result of the transaction in the 2014 fiscal year, but added that it expects that in 2015 the earnings-per-share growth recognized will be between $0.05 and $0.08. In the 2013 fiscal year, which ended June 30, CareFusion had diluted earnings per share of $1.72.

"The acquisition of Vital Signs is well-aligned to our long-term growth strategy, helping us create scale in our Procedural Solutions call points and increase our presence outside of the United States," Kieran Gallahue, chairman and CEO of CareFusion, was quoted as saying. "Together, CareFusion and Vital Signs have the R&D, manufacturing and go-to-market resources to drive innovation, invest for growth and better support customers in major geographic markets."

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