S&N denies takeover speculation

14th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

British medical equipment maker Smith & Nephew denied Friday that it was in talks regarding a potential merger or takeover, following recent media speculation.

The Daily Telegraph had reported Friday that US orthopaedics giant Biomet was about to start talks with S&N over a possible £15-billion (18-billion-euro, $24-billion) merger. However, the newspaper did not reveal its source.

"Smith & Nephew has a long-standing policy of not commenting on press speculation, unless there is a regulatory obligation to do so," the group said in a brief statement.

"However, exceptionally, Smith & Nephew wishes to clarify that it is not engaged in any discussions which could lead to a merger or a takeover," added S&N, which is the biggest maker of replacement knees and hips in Europe.

In early afternoon deals, S&N's share price fell 0.66 percent to 680 pence on London's FTSE 100 index of leading shares, which was down 0.74 percent at 5,979.46 points.

The Telegraph story was published one week after broadcaster Sky News had reported, without citing its source, that S&N had rejected a takeover approach from US cosmetics and drugs giant Johnson & Johnson.

© 2011 AFP

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