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Synthes confirms in deal talks with J&J

By Katie ReidZURICH (Reuters) - Synthes <SYST.VX> said on Monday it was in takeover talks with Johnson & Johnson <JNJ.N>, after reports the U.S. group is looking to buy the Swiss medical device maker for about $20 billion.A source familiar with the situation told Reuters at the weekend the two sides were in preliminary talks.A deal at $20 billion would mark an 11 percent premium over Synthes's current market capitalization of about $18 billion and would allow healthcare conglomerate J&J to further diversify its healthcare business.Shares in Synthes were indicated 4.5 percent higher, according to pre-market data provided by bank Clariden Leu, after gaining 6.2 percent on Friday as talk circulated that J&J or Medtronic <MDT.N> could be looking to buy the company."In response to market speculation, Synthes Inc confirms that it is engaged in discussions with Johnson & Johnson about a potential business combination transaction," Synthes said in a statement."No assurance can be given as to w...

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