CareFusion emerges as potential ICU bidder

ICU Medical's ($ICUI) bid to sell itself kicks into its next round this week, with the California device maker expected to seek second-round bids. As Reuters reports, a few interested parties have already emerged, including larger rival CareFusion, Hospira and at least one private equity firm.

Those potential bidders came from anonymous sources, and none of the companies could comment on the sale rumors. These things usually aren't made public anyway, of course, until a deal is done.

Even so, CareFusion's status as a potential bidder is particularly interesting and makes sense. The maker of infusion pumps and related devices is actively seeking acquisitions. And the article reminds us that CareFusion may already be in the mix in one other sale-in-the-making: the purchase of Smiths Medical, the subsidiary of U.K. technology giant Smiths Group, for more than $3 billion-plus.

ICU could be a relative bargain, however. Bloomberg reported last month that the company would likely weigh offers in excess of $1 billion. And ICU would be a good match with CareFusion, as it makes intravenous devices used in infusion therapy, oncology and critical care. CareFusion's tech has been plagued by recall problems, too, and the infusion of rival IP could help the company address quality issues.

ICU is on the rise, in any case. The company generated $316.3 million in revenue during 2012, nearly 5% higher than the previous year. That number reflects an 8.3% growth in infusion revenue and a whopping 24.2% sales increase in its oncology business, which is small but growing fast. More to come, to be sure.

- read the Reuters story