Stryker makes offer to take over Boston Scientific, report says

Stryker has made a quiet offer to acquire its rival Boston Scientific, which would create a behemoth with $21.5 billion in annual sales through one of the largest medical device deals on record, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

The combined company could tout up to 62,000 employees and would have a market capitalization pushing nearly $110 billion, putting it on firm competitive footing with Medtronic’s $117 billion. Neither Stryker nor Boston Scientific would comment publicly about the news, which called the deal far from a guarantee.

The theoretical consolidation would not see much product overlap, with Stryker’s orthopedic implants, surgical tools, neurotechnology and patient handling equipment complementing Boston Scientific’s focus in interventional specialties in cardiology, radiology and endoscopy. Both companies do manufacture spinal cord stimulators, implantable devices that use electrical signals to help treat certain kinds of pain.

Shares of both companies were down by single-digit percentages Tuesday morning, after Boston Scientific gained 7.4% the day before when the story broke.

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Trading in both was temporarily halted, before Boston Scientific filed a statement saying the company would not comment on rumors or speculation. In addition, sources told the Wall Street Journal that it was unclear how open the Marlborough, Massachusetts-based company was to the offer.

The potential deal wouldn’t be the companies’ first dance: in 2010, Kalamazoo, Michigan-based Stryker bought Boston Scientific’s neurovascular and stroke business in a $1.5 billion cash deal.

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And in the time since, the medical device industry has seen some of its largest transactions. Last April, Becton Dickinson struck a $24 billion deal to buy out C.R. Bard, manufacturer of catheters, pumps and vascular access products.

Before that, Medtronic and Covidien finalized a $43 billion merger in 2015, resulting in a 85,000-person company with an estimated $27 billion in annual revenue.