St. Jude Medical said Wednesday it has agreed to acquire heart-related medical device maker Thoratec in an all-cash deal valued at about $3.4 billion. St. Jude will pay $63.50 per Thoratec share, or a 40.1% premium over Thoratec's volume-weighted average trading price for the 30-day trading period ended July 17. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter and to boost St. Jude earnings in 2016. "The addition of Thoratec's leading ventricular assist device portfolio expands and enhances St. Jude Medical's established presence in heart failure therapies," St. Jude Chief Executive Daniel Starks said in a statement. Thoratec is the leader in the ventricular assist device market, which is worth about $750 million, he said. The deal will bring St. Jude into new markets totaling more than $1 billion that are expected to grow about 10% annually, said the statement. The merger agreement includes a "go-shop" period, which gives Thoratec 30 days to solicit bids from other parties. Thoratec shares were halted for trading pending the announcement, while St. Jude shares were not yet active.
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