DealZone

Deals wrap: J&J’s $21.6 billion orthopedic buy

A general view shows Swiss medical devices maker Synthes' headquarters in Oberdorf, April 25, 2011. Reuters/Christian Hartmann

Johnson & Johnson is to buy Swiss medical devices maker Synthes for $21.6 billion in its largest ever buy, giving J&J a leading position in equipment to treat trauma. Synthes, which posted sales of $3.7 billion in 2010, makes nails, screws and plates to fix broken bones, as well as artificial spine discs. “It is surprising the deal has been struck between cash and shares. The market consensus, and our view, was it would be all cash, so the quality of the take-out is slightly lower than we anticipated,” said Morgan Stanley analyst Michael Jungling.

Phone company CenturyLink is to buy Savvis for about $2.5 billion in cash and stock to beef up its data center business as it looks to meet the growing demand for cloud-based services. The deal comes at a time when regional phone companies like CenturyLink, which acquired rival Qwest for $10.6 billion last year, are looking at ways to boost their business as consumers continue to disconnect their home phones in favor of Internet services and cellphones.

News Corp is expected to receive around 5 or more bids by the end of this week to buy all or part of MySpace, valuing the one-time social networking pioneer at more than $100 million, a source said.

Reputation is dead on Wall Street and a long list of traders responsible for disastrous mortgage bets who have easily found high paying jobs in finance is evidence, writes The New York Times’s Steven Davidoff. And financial clients are not avoiding doing business with banks that were skewered in Congress, including Goldman Sachs, which has been attacked for purportedly taking short positions against its own clients, adds Davidoff.

Deals wrap: Why does J&J want to buy Synthes?

Doctors discuss medical treatment as they look at an X-Ray image on a monitor in this Reuters file photo. REUTERS/Fabrizio BenschAnother multi-billion dollar international healthcare deal could be coming if Johnson & Johnson has its way. Synthes, a Swiss medical device maker, confirmed it is in takeover talks with J&J after reports the U.S. health giant is keen to buy it for about $20 billion.

What does J&J want from a Swiss company many have never heard of before? The acquisition, which would be J&J’s biggest ever, would give the company a leading edge in equipment used to treat trauma patients. Synthes makes nails, screws and plates to fix broken bones, as well as artificial spine discs.

But a deal is far from certain at this stage. As the WSJ’s Katharina Bart points out, key to any deal is the agreement of Synthes Chairman Hansjoerg Wyss, a “secretive billionaire” who owns 48 percent of the company directly and through family trusts.

Deals wrap: Vaccine makers all the rage

A first aid kit made by Johnson & Johnson for sale on a store shelf in Westminster, Colorado April 14, 2009. REUTERS/Rick WilkingJohnson & Johnson, looking to catapult itself into the global vaccine market, is in talks to pay $2.3 billion to buy Dutch biotech Crucell. The potential deal may be more proof it was a question of not if, but rather when other successful biotech companies with late-stage products will be bought. The potential deal also signals that J&J is most likely out of that race for Genzyme.

“The bid price on the remaining shares can be considered as a knock-out price and is substantially higher than the analysts’ consensus target price,” one analyst said. *View article*

Speaking of Genzyme, one of the keys to a successful bid for the biotech company may lie with the heavyweights on the board of Sanofi. The French based pharmaceutical group, which has just lost its flamboyant, long-standing chairman, is dominated by representatives of top shareholders Total and L’Oreal , but is also brimming with pharma experts brought in via acquisitions.