Dec. 24 - Sources tell Reuters a deal of about $4 billion could be struck within two weeks for Johnson & Johnson's blood testing business. Fred Katayama reports.
Carlyle has apparently won the showdown with archrival Blackstone Group over a blue blood. Sources tell Reuters it's close to a deal to buy Johnson & Johnson's blood testing business. It outbid Blackstone and its partner, Danaher, in an auction process. The deal could be worth around $4 billion. It's expected to be struck within two weeks. J&J's ortho clinical diagnostics unit makes blood screening equipment and lab blood tests, among other things. It's a small player in the $46 billion in-vitro diagnostics market that's expected to grow 42 percent by 2017, according to consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. Drugmakers like J&J have been shedding businesses. They're cutting costs because they face price controls overseas and pressure by government and insurers to cut payments. Pfizer spun off its animal health products business. Abbott split off its branded drugs unit early this year. Carlyle has been actively buying companies in the healthcare field. Among its purchases in recent years: the drug testing company, Pharmaceutical Product Development; the operator of long-term care facilities, ManorCare; and businesses in Brazil and Australia.