Medical device maker Stryker Corp has made a takeover approach to rival Boston Scientific Corp, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, a combination that would give Stryker a strong position in stroke-preventing heart products.
Boston Scientific's share price closed up 7.4 percent at $34.32 Monday. Stryker's fell 5.1 percent to $169.78.
A deal would create a combined company with a market value of more than $110 billion and a wide breadth of product offerings from cardiology and orthopedics to surgical supplies and neuroscience at a time when leaders in the sector feel the need to get bigger to be able to offer hospitals and other customers a one-stop shopping experience.
It is not clear whether Boston Scientific is open to a potential acquisition by Stryker, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Representatives of both Stryker and Boston Scientific declined to comment on the report. But the two have done business before. Stryker bought Boston Scientific's neurovascular unit in 2010 for $1.5 billion.
"If this news is accurate, it would create a roughly $24 billion medtech company, which would place it behind only Medtronic and Johnson & Johnson in total device revenue," Wells Fargo Securities analyst Lawrence Biegelsen said in a research note.
He added that the combination would be one of broader scale with limited product overlap.
If the deal were to happen, Stryker would gain Boston Scientific's line of heart devices, such as stents to prop open clogged arteries, defibrillators to correct dangerously out of whack heart rhythms and its Watchman device to prevent blood clots from traveling around the heart. All of those devices reduce the risk of stroke.
The company has numerous other product lines that could enhance Stryker's offerings, including in orthopedic surgery and neurological surgery products.
Boston Scientific lags behind Edwards Lifesciences Corp and Medtronic Plc in the fast-growing heart valve replacement market. It has pinned its hopes on an improved version of its Lotus replacement valve, set for launch in 2019 after withdrawal of an earlier version from Europe last year.
Stryker already has a leading position in orthopedics, such as spinal surgery devices and hip and knee replacements, as well as medical and surgical equipment.
There has been a slow stream of large consolidation deals in the medical device sector in recent years.
"For all the medtech companies, in order to remain and to become a more valuable supplier to their hospital customers, it is really more and more important to be able to offer ... a much more comprehensive product portfolio that sells into all different parts of the hospital under different specialties," Morningstar analyst Debbie Wang said.