Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) announced today that it has agreed to buy privately held dialysis systems maker Gambro AB for approximately $4 billion in total consideration.

In a statement, Baxter noted that globally, more than 2 million patients are on some form of dialysis, with the rate of dialysis treatment expanding more than 5% annually. After acquiring the Swedish medical devices maker, Baxter said, it will have a "comprehensive dialysis product portfolio" enabling it to "better meet the evolving needs of the large and growing dialysis market."

Gambro recorded $1.6 billion in global sales in 2011. Baxter noted that the purchase will subtract approximately $0.10 to $0.15 per share from earnings in 2013 and be "neutral to modestly accretive" to 2014 earnings and "increasingly accretive" thereafter. The company predicts that post-acquisition, it will grow earnings in the 8%-10% range annually over the next five years.

The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2013.


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