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KKR-backed Panasonic Healthcare to buy Bayer diabetes device biz for as much as $2.3B

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Bayer is slated to sell its diabetes devices business to Panasonic Healthcare, according to a report from Bloomberg. The move has been years in the making as Bayer works to sell off peripheral businesses to focus on its core profitable ones.

The price tag for the Bayer diabetes device unit is expected to be between €1 billion ($1.1 billion) and €2 billion ($2.3 billion), according to Bloomberg.

The deal isn't done quite yet, in fact if may take several more weeks to pan out and could fall apart at any time, cautions a contrary Reuters report. The diversified pharma has other fish to fry aside from this deal. Bayer also expects to sell off its plastic unit; in October, it acquired the over-the-counter drug business from Merck ($MRK) for $14.2 billion.

Last September, Boston Scientific ($BSX) acquired Bayer's interventional division focused on peripheral vascular diseases for $415 million.

The Contour blood glucose meter is the core product for the Bayer diabetes device unit. Sales for it declined by 10% on a currency adjusted basis during the first 9 months to €478 million ($594 million) from €543 million ($674 million) during the same period in 2013. Due to these declines, it was Bayer's worst performing product during the period.

Private equity group KKR owns 80% of Panasonic Healthcare, while Japan's Panasonic owns the remainder. The firm acquired its stake in March 2014.

If this deal pans out, the diabetes business would be quite distinct from Panasonic Healthcare's current offerings that include cryogenic freezers, refrigerators, incubators and environmental chambers.

- here are the Bloomberg and Reuters stories

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