Becton Dickinson to Acquire C.R. Bard for $24 Billion

By Joseph Walker Features Dow Jones Newswires

Becton, Dickinson and Co. said on Sunday that it would acquire C. R. Bard Inc. for $24 billion in the latest merger of medical-supplies manufacturers.

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The deal values C.R. Bard at $317 per share, a 25.2% premium over the company's share price as of Friday's close. Bard shareholders will receive about $222.93 in cash and the balance in Becton Dickinson stock, the companies said.

Becton Dickinson, based in Franklin Lakes, N.J., said the deal would improve its market position in medication management and infection prevention by broadening its product portfolio. Bard, whose products include catheters and implantable heart-devices, had $3.7 billion in sales last year.

"Combining with Bard will accelerate our ability to offer more comprehensive, clinically relevant solutions to customers and patients around the globe," said Vince Forlenza, Becton Dickinson's chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement.

The transaction is expected to increase Becton Dickinson's adjusted earnings per share and result in $300 million in annual pretax cost savings by 2020, the companies said. Combined, the companies will have about 67,000 employees, according to their most recent annual reports.

Becton Dickinson had $12.5 billion in sales last year. It sells products including syringes and needles to hospitals and physicians, as well as diagnostic tools and laboratory supplies used by researchers.

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Becton Dickinson said it would use $1.7 billion of available cash to fund the transaction, along with about $10 billion in new debt and about $4.5 billion in equity and other equity-related securities sales. Bard shareholders will also receive $8 billion in Becton Dickinson stock.

The transaction was approved unanimously by the boards of both companies and is expected to close in the fall of 2017.

Write to Joseph Walker at joseph.walker@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2017 19:08 ET (23:08 GMT)