GE Healthcare to expand once more with $8 billion Abbott deal

By Wayne Forrest, staff writer

January 19, 2007 -- GE Healthcare of Chalfont St. Giles, U.K., today released more details regarding its proposed $8.13 billion acquisition of Abbott Laboratories' primary in vitro diagnostics businesses and Abbott Point-of Care diagnostics business (formerly known as i-STAT).

The proposed transaction does not include the Abbott Park, IL-based company's molecular diagnostics and diabetes-care units. Both businesses will remain part of Abbott.

The transaction remains subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions. GE and Abbott anticipate close the deal in the first half of this year.

With the acquisition, GE Healthcare would enter a $24 billion global market that growing 6% to 8% per year, mirroring the worldwide imaging market. Abbott's revenues from the two segments are expected to reach $2.7 billion in 2007, with net sales in the range of $2.9 billion. If projections hold true, the addition of Abbott's revenues would make GE Healthcare a $20 billion entity this year.

Abbott's estimated revenues for 2006 are $2.1 billion from immunoassay products, $275 million from hematology, $175 million from clinical chemistry, and $150 million from point-of-care products.

GE Healthcare President and CEO Joseph M. Hogan said the proposed acquisition "expands our diagnostic capabilities in large unsourced segments, particularly in some global areas where we have gained scale in our diagnostic imaging business over the last several years."

Approximately 44% of Abbott's business is based in Europe, 26% in the U.S., and 20% in Japan and Asia. Abbott has an installed base of some 70,000 products, while GE has almost 100,000 installed units in its in vivo business segment.

The geographic diversity of Abbott's market share also resembles GE Healthcare's footprint, with slightly less than half of Abbott's share in North America, 30% in Europe, and the remainder in Asia, Japan, and China.

To successfully integrate Abbott's businesses into GE Healthcare, Hogan said, "All we have to do is execute the way we do around our current imaging marketplace and then be able to gain a little more synergy from the standpoint of overseas (business) and capturing back some U.S. share."

Hogan's comments were made this morning during parent company General Electric's conference call to discuss fourth-quarter and year-end financial results and the Fairfield, CT, company's recent acquisitions.

Abbott's in vitro diagnostic is expected to complement GE Healthcare's existing positions with in vivo diagnostic imaging systems, which use x-ray, MRI, ultrasound, or other imaging procedures to diagnose disease, as well as GE's molecular imaging, information technology, and patient monitoring capabilities.

Abbott's medical tests and diagnostic instrument systems are used worldwide by hospitals, laboratories, blood banks, and physician offices to diagnose and monitor diseases, such as HIV, hepatitis, cancer, heart failure, and metabolic disorders.

Abbott Point-of-Care manufactures diagnostic products for blood analysis to provide diagnostics information at the point of patient care.

By Wayne Forrest staff writer
January 19, 2007

GE announces Abbott diagnostics bid, January 18, 2007

Reports: GE to buy Abbott diagnostics units, January 18, 2007

GE halts surgical C-arm sales due to FDA concerns, January 16, 2007

GE lands Mississippi Senographe install, January 12, 2007

ART, GE extend eXplore Optix pact, December 22, 2006

Copyright © 2007


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