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Kimberly-Clark Buys Life-Tech Anesthesia Business

By Rich Smith - Apr 2, 2013 at 1:55PM

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Texas-based Life-Point unit will go to the big company that used to distribute its products.

Probably best-known for its Huggies diapers and Kleenex tissues, Kimberly-Clark (KMB 0.77%) is donning surgical scrubs and heading into the hospital this morning, with an announcement that it's just bought the anesthesia business of privately held Life-Tech.

Like Kimberly-Clark, Life-Tech is a Texas-based company. The acquired portion of the Life-Tech business manufactures needles, catheters, and accessories associated with peripheral nerve block procedures, and historically, Kimberly-Clark has acted as a distributor of the company's products. Now, Kimberly-Clark is bringing the business in-house, and incorporating it into the Kimberly-Clark Health Care division, which accounts for about 7% of Kimberly-Clark's total revenues.

"The Life-Tech assets will allow [Kimberly-Clark Health Care's] ON-Q to capitalize on its leading position in the pain pump market and enhance margins on these products through internal manufacturing," the company said.

Financial details of the acquisition are not being disclosed -- neither the cost of the Life-Tech business, nor its anticipated effect on K-C's profits or revenues. Investors sent Kimberly-Clark shares up 1.7% to about $99.63 in early trading.

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