“Baxter International Inc. BAX -1.29% agreed to buy Swedish medical-equipment maker Gambro for 26.5 billion Swedish kronor ($4 billion), in what would be the biggest acquisition in the U.S. company’s history, as it aims to bolster its position in the growing market for kidney-dialysis products.
The deal, if completed, would combine Deerfield, Ill.-based Baxter, the world’s second-largest maker of dialysis equipment by revenue, with Gambro, the third largest.
Buying Gambro, which has been owned by two Nordic private-equity firms since 2006, would enable Baxter to round out a kidney-dialysis business that is focused on a form of dialysis called peritoneal, which can be performed at home. Gambro, meanwhile, is one of the largest makers of equipment for hemodialysis, which is generally performed in a hospital or clinic.
More than 2 million patients around the world receive some form of dialysis, with treatment rates growing by more than 5% a year, partly because of increased rates of diabetes and hypertension, Baxter said in a statement issued jointly with Gambro Tuesday announcing the deal. Baxter added that the deal will enable it to expand Gambro’s business in high-growth parts of Latin America and Asia, where the U.S. company has steadily widened its peritoneal-dialysis footprint.”