Press Release: General Electric To Acquire Abbott Laboratories's In Vitro And Point-Of-Care Diagnostics Businesses For $8.13B

General Electric Company To Acquire Abbott Laboratories's In Vitro And Point-Of-Care Diagnostics Businesses For $8.13 Billion, Broadening Capabilities In Growing Global Industry FAIRFIELD, Conn. and ABBOTT PARK, Ill. --General Electric Company and Abbott, a global leader in medical diagnostic instruments and tests, announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement for GE to acquire Abbott’s primary in vitro diagnostics businesses and Abbott Point-of-Care diagnostics business (formerly known as i-STAT) for $8.13 billion in cash. Abbott’s Molecular Diagnostics and Diabetes Care businesses are not part of the transaction and will remain part of Abbott. The addition of two of Abbott’s core laboratory diagnostics businesses will broaden GE Healthcare’s diagnostic offerings. Abbott’s in vitro diagnostic (in vitro diagnostics test blood or urine samples to diagnose disease or other conditions) complement GE’s existing positions in in vivo diagnostic imaging systems (in vivo imaging uses X-ray, magnetic resonance, ultrasound or other imaging procedures to look at what is in the body to diagnose disease), as well as its molecular imaging, information technology, and patient monitoring capabilities across the complete healthcare continuum. GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt, said, “This acquisition is consistent with GE’s strategy to invest in high-technology global infrastructure businesses that deliver strong top-line growth, earnings expansion and expanded margins. Abbott’s diagnostics business is the premier platform in this industry and fits very well with our Healthcare strategy. Abbott’s global position in the growing diagnostics field is aligned with our objective to deliver a comprehensive array of diagnostic products to customers around the world.” The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions, has been approved by the Boards of Directors of Abbott and GE and is targeted to close in the first half of 2007. The acquisition reflects GE Healthcare’s strategy to combine early diagnosis with information technology to enable a new "early health" model of care focused on earlier diagnosis, pre-symptomatic disease detection and disease prevention. Abbott’s in vitro diagnostics business is a global leader with a strong tradition of developing first-of-a-kind products that have helped create the modern diagnostics industry. Abbott is a world leader in immunoassays and blood screening. Abbott’s broad range of medical tests and diagnostic instrument systems are used worldwide by hospitals, laboratories, blood banks, and physician offices to diagnose and monitor diseases such as HIV, hepatitis, cancer, heart failure and metabolic disorders, as well as assess other important indicators of general health. Abbott Point-of-Care manufactures diagnostic products for blood analysis to provide health care professionals critical diagnostics information accurately and immediately at the point of patient care. In addition to its excellent offerings in the blood gas and chemistries segment, Abbott also provides point-of-care cardiac assays to the emergency room. Abbott’s in vitro diagnostics business, including Point-of-Care, is expected to generate net sales of approximately$2.7 billion in 2006. Miles D. White, Abbott’s Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, said, “The laboratory diagnostics market has changed considerably in the last decade. Innovation in this segment will be increasingly driven by automation, system integration and a host of skills that GE can offer. As part of GE, Abbott’s core diagnostics and point-of-care businesses will be powerfully positioned to sustain and extend their market success.” For Abbott, the transaction is expected to be neutral to earnings-per-share in 2007 before specified items and accretive thereafter. GE said the transaction will be accretive to earnings. Joe Hogan, president and CEO of GE Healthcare, said, “Over the last 5–to-10 years, we have been able to drive organic growth as well as successfully integrate major acquisitions like Amersham in a way beneficial to employees and investors. Through this acquisition, we create the opportunity to integrate our broad-based competencies in diagnostics, life sciences and healthcare information technology. In-vitro diagnostics and in vivo imaging continue to become more important in providing comprehensive diagnostic solutions. Our capabilities combined with Abbott’s in vitro diagnostics and point-of-care diagnostic businesses will allow GE to provide customers with better tools for the full care continuum, enhancing their decision-making capabilities in key disease areas such as oncology and cardiology, and enabling early disease detection, diagnosis and treatment. ” GE will discuss this transaction as well as preliminary fourth-quarter and full-year results on a conference call and webcast at 8:30 a.m. ET on Friday, Jan. 19. Call information is available at www.ge.com/investor and related charts will be posted there prior to the call. About GE GE is Imagination at Work -- a diversified technology, media and financial services company focused on solving some of the world’s toughest problems. With products and services ranging from aircraft engines, power generation, water processing and security technology to medical imaging, business and consumer financing, media content and advanced materials, GE serves customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.ge.com. About GE Healthcare GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, performance improvement, drug discovery, and biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies is helping clinicians around the world re-imagine new ways to predict, diagnose, inform and treat disease, so their patients can live their lives to the fullest. GE Healthcare's broad range of products and services enable healthcare providers to better diagnose and treat cancer, heart disease, neurological diseases, and other conditions earlier. Our vision for the future is to enable a new "early health" model of care focused on earlier diagnosis, pre-symptomatic disease detection and disease prevention. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a $15 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 43,000 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com. Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements Results are preliminary and unaudited. This document contains "forward-looking statements" - that is, statements related to future, not past, events. In this context, forward-looking statements often address our expected future business and financial performance, and often contain words such as "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "seeks," or "will." Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain. For us, particular uncertainties which could adversely or positively affect our future results include: the behavior of financial markets, including fluctuations in interest rates and commodity prices; strategic actions, including dispositions; future integration of acquired businesses; future financial performance of major industries which we serve, including, without limitation, the air and rail transportation, energy generation, media, real estate and healthcare industries; unanticipated loss development in our insurance businesses; and numerous other matters of national, regional and global scale, including those of a political, economic, business, competitive and regulatory nature. These uncertainties may cause our actual future results to be materially different than those expressed in our forward-looking statements. We do not undertake to update our forward-looking statements. About Abbott Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs more than 65,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries. About Abbott Diagnostics Abbott Diagnostics is a global leader in in vitro diagnostics. With more than 69,000 institutional customers in more than 100 countries, Abbott’s diagnostic products offer customers automation, convenience, cost effectiveness and flexibility. Abbott’s core laboratory diagnostics business products include: automated blood screening systems to detect infectious agents such as HIV and strains of hepatitis in donated blood and plasma; immunodiagnostics instruments and tests that measure antibody or antigen reactions to detect disease; clinical chemistry instruments and reagents to measure and monitor glucose, electrolytes, enzymes, proteins and lipids as indicators of patient health; hematology systems that perform sophisticated blood cell analyses; and automation systems and software solutions to help laboratories integrate equipment, reduce errors and enhance productivity. About Abbott Point of Care Abbott Point of Care, headquartered in East Windsor, New Jersey, develops, manufactures and markets critical medical diagnostic and data management products for rapid blood analysis. The company's premier product is the i-STAT System, a market-leading hand-held blood analyzer used in emergency departments, surgical suites, neonatal intensive care units and other critical care settings that is capable of performing a panel of commonly ordered blood tests on two or three drops of blood at the patient's bedside. Utilizing 18 different self-contained test cartridges, the i-STAT System delivers lab-accurate testing for blood gases, electrolytes, chemistries, coagulation, hematology, glucose and cardiac markers in just minutes. By providing these critical test results rapidly, health care providers can quickly monitor and effectively manage their patients' care. Abbott's Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 A Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements Some statements in this news release may be forward-looking statements for the purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We caution that these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated. Economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors that may affect Abbott's operations are discussed in Item 1A, "Risk Factors," and Exhibit 99.1 to our Annual Report on Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005 and in Item 1A, "Risk Factors," to our Quarterly Report on Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2006, and are incorporated by reference. We undertake no obligation to release publicly any revisions to forward-looking statements as the result of subsequent events or developments. Contacts General Electric Co. GE Healthcare Brian McKaig 262-544-3937 O 414-477-6522 C [email protected] Val Jones +44 1494 498052 O +44 7917 175192 C [email protected] GE Corporate Russell Wilkerson, 203-373-3193 [email protected] or Abbott: Media Melissa Brotz, 847-935-3456 [email protected] Investors John Thomas, 847-938-2655 [email protected]

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