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Report: Baxter trying to buy Swedish device maker

Associated Press

Drug and medical device maker Baxter International Inc. is negotiating to buy Gambro AB, a Swedish maker of medical equipment, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The two companies are seeking to finalize a deal worth approximately $4 billion in the next few weeks, the newspaper reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

An acquisition would boost the kidney dialysis business of Baxter, based in the Chicago suburb of Deerfield, Ill.

Gambro, based in Lund, Sweden, makes medical technology for kidney and liver dialysis, for treating kidney damage from the blood cancer myeloma and for other disorders. It has about 7,500 employees and sells products in more than 100 countries.

Baxter has about 48,500 employees and reported $13.9 billion in sales last year.

Its medical device division makes products such as intravenous administration sets to deliver medicines and fluids to patients, and is a leader in home-based kidney dialysis. Dialysis involves removing blood from a patient, running it through a machine that cleans out impurities and then returning it to the patient's body.

Baxter also has a bioscience division that makes vaccines and high-tech treatments for hemophilia and other bleeding disorders, burns and shock, immune deficiencies and other blood-related conditions.

Calls to Baxter's headquarters went unanswered Friday, amid the Thanksgiving holiday. A company spokeswoman in Europe said she did not know about the deal and was not immediately able to contact colleagues in the U.S.

Gambro's vice president for communications, Kristina Embring Klang, told The Associated Press the company doesn't comment "on speculation and rumors."

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