Friday 18 December 2015

Stryker returns?

The Stryker for Smith & Nephew rumour has returned roughly a year after Bloomberg was putting it about the market.

This time, though, the tale is being aired by The Street / (see below).

Stryker (NYSE: SYK) has tabled an approximately $18 billion offer for Smith & Nephew (NYSE: SNN), according to a person with knowledge of the situation. Goldman Sachs is acting as advisor, and deal talks could move quickly, the source said.
This isn’t the first time rumors about the bid have surfaced, but the merger never came about for reasons that are not clear.
Discussing M&A on the company’s third-quarter conference call, Stryker CEO Kevin Lobo said M&A is difficult to predict in terms of timing, though he said M&A continues to be the company’s first priority in terms of using cash.
Lobo went on to say, “…valuations is one factor; it's not always the only factor. We also have issues sometimes around quality, of remediation that's required. Sometimes it's cultural fit, so there's always a range of issues that we go through when we're looking at a target, and as we get under the covers and do due diligence, then we sort of figure out whether we really want to move forward or not.”
When asked to respond to the rumor, a representative from Stryker said it doesn’t comment on M&A activity. Smith & Nephew also declined to comment.

Now, if I'm honest I have no visibility on whether Stryker has recently tabled an offer but I note The Street / hasn't got a recent track record of breaking M&A scoops - although the news outlet is clearly looking to establish itself in the M&A reporting game as it's recent efforts around Relypsa, the US biotech company, has shown.

However, I do understand The Street / has got at least one fact right - that over the last eighteen months Stryker has been looking at this situation via heavyweight investment bank Goldman Sachs - and a couple of other advisers.

So, make what you will of that...


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