NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) -- Johnson & Johnson has accepted an offer of about $4 billion from the private equity firm The Carlyle Group to buy its Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics business.

J&J said Monday that the deal for the blood-testing unit should close by mid-year.

The New Brunswick, N.J., health care giant had said in January that Washington, D.C.-based Carlyle Group had offered $4.15 billion for the business, and that it would talk to works councils and trade unions representing its employees before making a decision.

The Ortho-Clinical business serves hospitals, testing laboratories and blood banks. It supplies equipment and chemicals to screen donated blood for HIV, hepatitis C and other serious diseases. It also makes technology for advanced testing of blood to diagnose health conditions and to monitor medication effects.

Ortho Clinical Diagnostics is based in Raritan, N.J., and employs more than 4,500 employees. It runs factories in Rochester, N.Y.; Pompano Beach, Fla.; and Pencoed, Wales.

J&J CEO Alex Gorsky had said last year the company was looking at strategic options for Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, which doesn't meet the company's long-held strategy of focusing on businesses that rank first or second in their markets.

Shares of J&J rose $0.55 to $97.99 on premarket trading Monday about an hour and a quarter before the markets opens. They have climbed more than 6% so far this year.

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