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GE Healthcare expands its respiratory device business.

GE Healthcare has agreed to purchase Vital Signs Inc., located in Totowa, NJ, for $860 million. Vital Signs produces medical products in a wide range of care areas, such as anesthesia, respiratory, sleep therapy and emergency medicine.

GE Healthcare, a United Kingdom-based unit of General Electric Co., said Vital Signs will become part of its Clinical Systems business, which manufactures patient monitoring, anesthesia delivery and acute respiratory care systems.

"This acquisition is consistent with GE's strategy to invest in high-technology, innovative businesses that deliver top-line growth, earnings expansion and expanded margins," said John Dineen, the newly named president and CEO of GE Healthcare. "Vital Signs has consistently grown at double-digit rates while generating strong operating margins. Its products are a great complement to our existing anesthesia, monitoring and respiratory offerings."

Under the terms of the agreement, shareholders of Vital Signs will receive $74.50 per share in cash. The transaction is subject to Vital Signs' shareholder and regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2008.

GE has been looking for ways to bolster sales due to a slump in its imaging business, which has experienced a recent decrease in orders. In June, the company announced layoffs at its Waukesha, WI facility.

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Title Annotation:Top of the News
Publication:Medical Product Outsourcing
Date:Sep 1, 2008
Words:206
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