GE Healthcare, Chalfont St. Giles, U.K., agreed to acquire Vital Signs, Totowa, N.J., for $860 million in cash, or $74.50 per share. Vital Signs designs and manufactures anesthesia, respiratory and critical-care products and reported income of $23.5 million on revenue of $205.3 million in 2007, which ended Sept. 30.
The deal, which must win approval from Vital Signs shareholders and regulators, is expected to close by Dec. 31. Vital Signs will join GE Healthcares clinical systems division.
The divisions president and chief executive officer, Omar Ishrak, said the acquisition adds Vital Signs products to GE Healthcares business as an equipment provider. The deal also adds a financially strong asset to GE Healthcares books, he said. Terry Wall, Vital Signs CEO, said the transaction will give his company access to global markets, particularly for its single-use products. The U.S. accounts for roughly three-quarters of Vital Signs single-use product sales, he said. -- by Melanie Evans