Swiss medical device maker Synthes has confirmed that it is in talks to be bought out by United States health giant Johnson & Johnson.
Synthes said it was talking with the group about "a potential business combination transaction" but gave no financial details.
It does not intend to make any further public statements unless and until a definitive agreement is reached or talks are called off.
Synthes makes surgical instruments, implants and materials for repairing bone and soft tissue. Johnson & Johnson, which is under close US Food and Drug Administration scrutiny over product recalls, is hoping to boost its medical equipment business.
Synthes shares went up seven per cent on the Swiss stock exchange on the news on Monday.
Synthes is based in West Chester, Pennsylvania, but has its global headquarters in Solothurn.
The company’s multibillionaire chairman, Hansjorg Wyss, stands to do well from a potential sale, owning a 40 per cent share of the company and his family’s trust another eight per cent.
swissinfo.ch and agencies