February 24, 2015 / 5:25 PM / in 4 years

Boston Scientific near deal to buy Endo's device unit: sources

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Boston Scientific Corp (BSX.N) is close to buying Endo International PLC’s (ENDP.O) AMS medical device unit, a deal that could value the business at around $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

The companies are aiming to finalize an agreement within a matter of weeks, the people said this week, cautioning that discussions are continuing and could still fall apart.

A representative for Boston Scientific declined to comment. A representative for Endo could not be reached for comment. The sources asked not to be named because the matter is not public.

Based in Minnetonka, Minnesota, Endo’s AMS unit supplies devices to treat pelvic disorders. Endo, which acquired AMS for $2.9 billion in 2011, reached an $830 million settlement last April to resolve legal claims from women who said they were injured by the company’s transvaginal mesh devices.

The purchase would end a nearly decade-long deal drought for Boston Scientific, which has not completed a large takeover since its 2006 acquisition of heart device maker Guidant Corp for $27 billion, which left the company laden with debt and dealing with a slew of Guidant product recalls.

For Endo, the divestiture is part of an effort to sell non-core businesses and grow aggressively through new acquisitions.

Led by former Valeant Pharmaceuticals International VRX.TO executive and serial dealmaker Rajiv De Silva, Endo last October agreed to acquire Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc AUXL.O for $2.6 billion for its men’s health drug portfolio.

Endo also acquired generic drugmaker Dava Pharmaceuticals for $600 million last June. A $1.6 billion acquisition of Canadian specialty drugmaker Paladin Labs last year allowed the company to shift its tax domicile from Pennsylvania to Ireland, where corporate tax rates are lower, in a so-called inversion deal.

Boston Scientific has largely sat on the sidelines amid a spate of large deals in the medical device sector in the last year, including Medtronic PLC’s (MDT.N) $42.9 billion acquisition of Covidien and Zimmer Holdings Inc’s ZMH.N acquisition of Biomet Inc for $13.4 billion.

Reporting by Olivia Oran in New York; Editing by Christian Plumb

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