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BAXTER TO EXPLORE ISSUING EQUITY SECURITY TIED TO ALTERNATE SITE BUSINESS

 BAXTER TO EXPLORE ISSUING EQUITY SECURITY TIED
 TO ALTERNATE SITE BUSINESS
 CHICAGO, April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Baxter International (NYSE: BAX) will explore alternatives to create a separately traded equity security representing its Alternate Site health-care business, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Vernon R. Loucks Jr. told the company's annual meeting today.
 The Alternate Site business, totalling more than $1 billion in sales in 1991, offers products and services for health care provided outside hospitals. Loucks said three options are being considered:
 -- a distribution of the new security to current Baxter shareholders
 -- a partial public offering
 -- some combination of a distribution to Baxter shareholders along with a partial public offering.
 Loucks told the annual meeting the new security would make the Alternate Site business more competitive, provide financial flexibility and provide incentives for managers to create added value in the business.
 Baxter's Alternate Site business is the market leader and the most diversified competitor in the field. It provides products and services for home health care, infusion therapy, physical therapy, AIDS care, women's health care and prescription services. Baxter's sales in those markets have been growing more than 20 percent a year, Loucks said, and Baxter has been gaining overall market share.
 Loucks said the company will decide "in the next few months" on the form of the security, and an announcement will be made at that time.
 Reviewing the company's overall performance and plans, Loucks told shareholders Baxter is committed to continuing its already strong relationships with hospitals. He said the company will concentrate on core businesses where it has a leading market share, maintain best-cost positions for its key products, and focus investment and management resources more intensively on a small number of major initiatives "that can deliver significant value from highly differentiated products." These initiatives include high-growth opportunities in biotherapy, immunotherapy, hospital distribution, renal therapy, diagnostics and cardiovascular care, as well as alternate-site health care.
 Loucks said consistent operating and financial performance is a major corporate objective, and has been reflected in steady revenue and earnings increases as well as an increase in operating income per employee of 135 percent since 1986. In 1991, Baxter's operating income increased 17 percent, earnings per share increased 23 percent and return on equity was 14.6 percent, ahead of schedule towards the announced goal of 15 percent by 1993. Baxter's stock price and yield have outperformed the S&P index.
 Stockholders voted at the meeting to elect two new directors -- Frank R. Frame, director of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd., and David Satcher, M.D., president of Meharry Medical College -- and to re-elect four current directors: David C.K. Chin, M.D., James D. Ebert, Mary Johnston Evans and William B. Graham. All were elected to three-year terms.
 Stockholders also voted to ratify the appointment of Price Waterhouse as the company's independent public accountant.
 Separately, Baxter's board of directors today declared regular quarterly dividend No. 228 of 21.5 cents per share on the company's common stock, payable on July 1, 1992, to stockholders of record on June 10, 1992. The board also named James H. Taylor to the position of corporate vice president, Manufacturing Operations and Strategy.
 Baxter International, based in Deerfield, Ill., is the leading worldwide manufacturer and marketer of health-care products, systems and services.
 -0- 4/27/92
 /CONTACT: Les Jacobson of Baxter International, 708-948-4555/
 (BAX) CO: Baxter International ST: Illinois IN: SU:


SM -- NY121 -- 3476 04/27/92 19:55 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 27, 1992
Words:575
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