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What: Shares of Given Imaging (UNKNOWN:GIVN.DL), a diagnostics company that develops devices allowing for the visualization and detection of gastrointestinal tract disorders (e.g., the camera pill), skyrocketed by as much as 26% after Covidien (NYSE:COV) agreed to purchase the company.
So what: Under the terms of the deal, Covidien will pay $30 in cash per share -- approximately $860 million -- to Given Imaging shareholders upon closing of the deal, which is expected to occur prior to March 31. The deal will expand Covidien's existing presence in the gastrointestinal device market and is expected to be earnings neutral to the company next year and earnings accretive thereafter. Both company boards have approved the deal.
Now what: The move certainly makes sense from the perspective of Covidien as it gives the company a broader array of GI devices and eliminates a potential competitor. At $30 per share, Covidien is not purchasing Given Imaging at a bargain (37 times forward earnings), but Covidien shareholders should trumpet this deal as it could be a driver of long-term growth for a company that's been middling along with a low-to-mid single-digit-growth rate.
Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.
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