The deal for Abbott’s subsidiary Abbott Medical Optics, which reported sales of $1.1 billion, includes its portfolio of ophthalmic products covering cataract surgery, laser refractive surgery and consumer eye health.
“Eye health is 1 of the largest, fastest-growing and most underserved segments in health care today. With the acquisition of Abbott Medical Optics’ strong and differentiated surgical ophthalmic portfolio, coupled with our world-leading Acuvue contact lens business, we will become a more broad-based leader in vision care. Importantly, with this acquisition we will enter cataract surgery – 1 of the most commonly performed surgeries and the number 1 cause of preventable blindness,” J&J vision care companies group chairwoman Ashley McEvoy said in a press release.
The companies said they expect to close the deal in the 1st quarter of 2017, with Johnson & Johnson saying it expects it to be “modestly accretive immediately to adjusted earnings per share.”
Following the close, the business will be folded into the medical devices segment as a separate platform within J&J Vision Care.
Abbott shares are up 1.6% today, trading at $41.79 as of 3:51 p.m. EDT.
Wells Fargo analysts predicted that Abbott was likely to sell the AMO business because it would be less of a strategic fit after the St. Jude acquisition and because Abbott would need to reduce debt after the 2 buyouts.
While the acquisition of St. Jude seems on track to close, U.S. anti-trust regulators requested more information in July on the proposed merger.
The companies said the union will create a “best-in-class” competitor in nearly all segments of the cardiovascular market with the 1st or 2nd position “across large and high-growth cardiovascular device markets” with combined annual sales of about $8.7 billion. The deal also calls for Abbott to assume or refinance St. Jude’s $5.7 billion in net debt.
The company’s acquisition of Alere hasn’t been quite as smooth. Earlier this month, Alere told a Delaware state court that it and Abbott will seek to mediate their dispute over the pending, $5.8 billion merger.
The dispute concerns Abbott’s role in winning the approval of U.S. anti-trust regulators for the merger, which was announced in February. Alere filed the lawsuit in August, looking to force Abbott to obtain all antitrust approvals required to complete the acquisition. Last week, Delaware Chancery Court Judge Sam Glasscock put the hearing on the fast track, but urged both sides to consider mediation before tomorrow, when a trial date was to be set.