Medtronic in talks to combine with Covidien in $45 bln deal - source


REUTERS - Medical-device maker Medtronic Inc (MDT.N) and rival Covidien Plc (COV.N) are in advanced talks to combine in a deal valued at $45 billion to $50 billion, a source familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

The deal, which would allow Medtronic to be domiciled in Ireland where Covidien is based and thus take advantage of lower tax rates, could come as soon as Monday, the person said, asking not to be named because the matter is not public.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the talks.

Minneapolis-based Medtronic, which makes cardiovascular and orthopedic devices, has a market value of about $61 billion. Covidien, which makes devices used in surgery, is valued at about $32 billion.

Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) recently mounted an abortive takeover bid for British-based AstraZeneca (AZN.L) in what would have been a roughly $120 billion deal aimed in part at lowering the U.S. drug firm's corporate tax rate.

(Reporting by Soyoung Kim in New York; Editing by Eric Beech)

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