Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) is keeping its cards close to the vest regarding a potential acquisition of Smith & Nephew (FTSE:SN, NYSE:SNN), refusing to comment today on speculation about the deal at its investor conference in New York.
"I did want to acknowledge the various speculative media reports that have been circulating over the past few days regarding a potential acquisition," vice president of investor relations Jeff Warren said this morning. "Consistent with our long-standing practice, we do not comment on market or media speculation regarding our business or regarding potential mergers and acquisitions. I wanted to address this up front, as we know this is on many of your minds, but we will not be entertaining any questions on these or any other reports of a similar nature."
Citing anonymous sources, Bloomberg reported yesterday that Medtronic is considering the move, possibly as a way to shift its corporate headquarters to the U.K. to take advantage of more favorable tax rates. The potential deal is still in the very early stages, the sources said.
But in response to a request from U.K. regulators, Stryker put itself on the sidelines, pledging not to make an unsolicited offer for Smith & Nephew for 6 months. News of Stryker’s interest made Medtronic’s preparations more complicated, the sources told Bloomberg.