Johnson & Johnson Makes It Largest Acquisition

Johnson & Johnson announced it is buying Synthes, a company that makes orthopedic devices, for $21.3 billion. Johnson and Johnson sees a growing market for orthopedic products. An aging population means an increased demand for hip and knee replacements, as well as the screws and plates needed for these surgeries.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

NPR's business news starts with a medical merger.

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INSKEEP: Johnson & Johnson is making its largest acquisition ever. The company said today that it's buying a company that makes orthopedic devices called Synthes for $21 billion. Johnson & Johnson sees a growing market for orthopedic products. An aging population means an increased demand for hip and knee replacements, as well as the screws and plates needed for those surgeries.

Combining Synthes with Johnson & Johnson's existing medical device business would, by one estimate, give the company more than a quarter of the market for such devices.

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