Johnson & Johnson Reportedly In Talks to Sell Its Cordis Unit to Cardinal Health

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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–Johnson & Johnson is reportedly in talks to sell its Cordis subsidiary to Cardinal Health Inc, according to a report from Bloomberg, which cited unnamed people who have knowledge of the matter.

Last Fall, NB Today reported that J&J was seeking a buyer for its struggling Cordis medical device unit, based in Bridgewater. Cordis produces vascular medical products including catheters and guide wires. The division employs about 5,000 people.

The Bloomberg report says that Cardinal is the leading suitor. But “Cordis has also garnered interest from other potential bidders who may remain in the process,” the people told Bloomberg, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

Although “the talks could still fall apart,” Cordis could collect up to $2 billion in a sale, a person familiar with the situation told Bloomberg last summer.

Cordis is the company's "second-biggest unit behind its drugs division," according to the report, which added that it "pioneered the market for drug-coated heart stents, but moved away from that business as competitors introduced rival products that were more effective and easier to implant."

In 2014, medical devices saw a 3.4% decline in sales. Reportedly, they are the weakest performer for J&J, which has three main divisions:  medical devices and diagnostics, consumer health products, and pharmaceuticals. 

Cardinal Health is based in Dublin, Ohio, and distributes drugs and manufacturers medical equipment including surgical supplies.

Both J&J and Cardinal declined to comment, according to the report. 

As we reported, last year, J&J sold one of its side businesses, Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, to cut costs.

It sold that unit to the Carlyle Group for about $4 billion. Ortho makes equipment used to detect and diagnose conditions such as HIV, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

Dave is an award-winning business reporter who has authored over 200 articles for New Brunswick Today.