Abbott set to close $25B St. Jude deal

Handshake
Abbott and St. Jude initially inked their merger agreement in April, after the former denied reports it was planning to acquire the latter.

Abbott is all set to close its $25 billion acquisition of St. Jude Medical on Wednesday, after nabbing the required regulatory approvals. The combined company will have reach in almost every segment of the $30 billion cardiovascular arena.

The deal was originally announced in April last year, eight months after Abbott denied a Financial Times story reporting the devicemaker was preparing a bid for St. Jude. Slated to close in Q4 2016, the transaction was delayed in July when both companies received a request for more information from the Federal Trade Commission. Abbott announced its plan to close the deal on Thursday, following conditional OKs from regulatory officials in China and the U.S.

At the signing of the deal, Abbott and St. Jude expected it to be accretive to earnings in the first full year after its close, and to lead to $500 million in annual pretax synergies by 2020.

“The addition of St. Jude Medical creates one of the broadest medical device portfolios in the world and provides a steady stream of new technologies and therapies for many years to come,” said Abbott CEO Miles White in a statement. St. Jude’s expertise in atrial fibrillation, heart failure, structural heart and chronic pain will complement Abbott’s leadership in mitral valve disease and coronary interventions, Abbott said in the statement.

While Abbott’s St. Jude tie-up had a happy ending, the company continues its struggle to escape its $5.8 billion deal to acquire diagnostics maker Alere. Last month, Abbott filed a complaint in Delaware Chancery Court to terminate the deal because of a series “damaging business developments” at Alere that unfolded since the deal was struck in February. The action followed a suit filed by Alere in the same court seeking to force Abbott to complete the acquisition.

"Alere is no longer the company Abbott agreed to buy 10 months ago," said Scott Stoffel, divisional vice president of external communications at Abbott, in a statement last month. "These numerous negative developments are unprecedented and are not isolated incidents brought on by chance. We have attempted to secure details and information to assess these issues for months, and Alere has blocked every attempt.