Hospira's floundering pumps business nears the chopping block: Bloomberg

LifeCare PCA Infusion System--Courtesy of Hospira

Pfizer ($PFE) has been weighing a sale of Hospira's pumps and devices business for a while. Now, the company is reportedly taking offers.

Smiths Group and Fresenius put in bids for the unit, which Pfizer acquired last year through its $15 billion deal for Hospira. Private equity firm Pamplona Capital also made a second-round bid for the business, Bloomberg reports, although final bids for the business aren't due until the end of May.

Pfizer has said that it could gain $2 billion from a sale of Hospira's pumps and devices unit. Representatives from Pfizer, Germany-based Fresenius and London-based Smiths Group declined to comment to the news outlet.

A sale would mark the end of an era for Hospira, which has struggled over the years with its devices unit. In May 2013, the company rolled out a plan to boost business by retiring older infusion pumps and introducing newer products including its Sapphire pumps.

But regulatory issues stood in the way of some of Hospira's ambitions. At one point, the FDA banned one of the company's infusion pump manufacturing facilities.

Hospira ended up making good with regulators, and the agency lifted the ban in 2014. Still, problems with pumps continued to plague the company after it announced its deal with Pfizer. In August, the FDA told hospitals to stop using the company's Symbiq Infusion System amid cybersecurity concerns.

It wasn't the first time Hospira faced pushback regarding pump security. But it was the first time the FDA "encouraged the transition to other products because of a cybersecurity-related vulnerability," agency spokeswoman Angela Stark told FierceMedicalDevices at the time. Hospira subsequently pulled its Symbiq infusion device from the market.

- read the Bloomberg story