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J & J's Ethicon considers selling breast cancer unit

Tue, 03/30/2010 - 7:17am
The Associated Press

Ethicon Endo-Surgery, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, said Tuesday it received a buyout offer for its breast cancer business from Devicor Medical Products.

Ethicon did not disclose financial details, but said the offer is "irrevocable" and "unconditional". Devicor is a portfolio company of private equity investment firm GTCR Golder Rauner LLC.

Ethicon's breast care unit sells products used by doctors to help diagnose breast cancer.

The acceptance period for the offer will end on June 15, unless extended.

"As we continually prioritize strategic investments that are aligned with our future growth platforms, we determined that the breast care products are outside of this scope, and decided to explore the potential sale of the business," said Karen Licitra, company group chairman and worldwide franchise chairman at Ethicon. "We believe this offer demonstrates commitment from Devicor and GTCR to develop the Breast Care business to its full potential."

Shares of Johnson & Johnson, based in New Brunswick, N.J., fell 22 cents to $64.60 in morning trading.

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