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Market pressure puts paid to Sulzer merger

Sulzer's chairman, Ueli Roost, announcing the radical shake up in September


The industrial group, Sulzer, is abandoning plans to merge with the medical group, Sulzer Medica, following pressure from investors.

Sulzer, which already owns 74 per cent of Sulzer Medica, announced the planned merger last month. The Winterthur-based company said the tie-up would eliminate a costly and complicated dual structure.

But Sulzer said it was now taking note of a lack of investor confidence in the proposals. It said it was now clear that the markets preferred the two companies to remain "pure players" in their respective fields.

However, Sulzer said it would continue its strategy of refocusing on surface and materials technology. Sulzer Medica is to concentrate on orthopaedics, dental care and cardiovascular prostheses.

The merger was to have cost around 300 jobs, 150 of them in Switzerland.

Under the proposals released in September, Sulzer also plans to sell off five technical divisions.

Sulzer had 1999 sales of SFr5.5 billion ($3 billion), while turnover for Sulzer Medica was SFr1.2 billion.

swissinfo with agencies

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