Johnson & Johnson is to buy Swiss medical devices maker Synthes Inc for SFr19 billion ($21.59 billion), the two companies announced on Wednesday.
The United States healthcare group will pay SFr159 in cash and stock for each Synthes share, which is a premium of 8.5 per cent over Synthes' closing share price on Tuesday.
A deal had been anticipated, after Synthes said on April 18 it was in talks with J&J.
The acquisition, which is expected to be sealed in the first half of 2012, has the backing of both the Synthes and J&J boards and will give J&J a leading position in equipment to treat trauma.
Synthes, which posted sales of $3.7 billion in 2010, makes nails, screws and plates to fix broken bones, as well as artificial spine discs.
Crucially, the deal has the backing of Hansjoerg Wyss, who holds 40 per cent of Synthes directly and another eight per cent through family trusts.
swissinfo.ch and agencies