Medtronic ponies up $43B to buy Covidien

Medtronic has agreed to pay nearly $43 billion to acquire Covidien, a move that will allow the Minneapolis company to shift its headquarters to Ireland and lower its tax burden.

The acquisition, which had been rumored for days, combines two major medical manufacturers of cardiovascular devices, including implantable cardiac therapies such as pacemakers and defibrillators, valves, catheter-based ablation systems, stents and vascular and peripheral technologies. The purchase also relieves Medtronic of the higher corporate tax rate imposed in the U.S., which can be more than double Ireland’s 12.5 percent rate.

Medtronic announced that it agreed to a cash-and-stock deal set at $93.22 per Covidien share, based on Medtronic's closing stock price of $60.70 per share on June 13. The company added that it planned to invest $10 billion over a decade in the U.S. to invest in early-stage companies and fund acquisitions.

The companies described the deal as an opportunity to expand products and services. Medtronic emphasized Covidien’s reach in emerging markets, which it said contributes $3.7 billion of the companies’ combined $13 billion in revenues outside the U.S.

“Through this combination, Medtronic is expected to generate significant free cash flow, which it will be able to deploy with greater strategic flexibility, particularly in the U.S.,” the companies claimed in a joint statement.

The deal is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2014 or early 2015. Once the acquisition is final, the company will go by the name Medtronic plc with headquarters in the Dublin area. Omar Ishrak, chairman and chief executive officer of Medtronic, will oversee the company but remain in Minneapolis.

Covidien employs about 38,000 in more than 70 countries with 41 manufacturing facilities in 17 countries. Medtronic’s work force totals 46,000, with 8,000 based in Minneapolis.