News of the roughly $11.65-per-share offer sent SNN shares up to $56.56 in pre-market activity today. New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson made the bid before Christmas, according to Sky News. Smith & Nephew’s board rejected the bid as substantially under-valued, but JNJ might raise the ante, according to the British news channel.
Warsaw, Ind.-based Biomet Inc. is also in the running for the British orthopedics giant, according to the report, waiting on JNJ to raise the stakes before making its move. Other likely players include Biomet’s fellow Lake City denizen Zimmer Holdings Inc. (NYSE:ZMH) and Stryker Corp. (NYSE:SYK) of Kalamazoo, Mich., according to Sky.
JNJ shares were down $0.10 at $62.50 a share in U.S. pre-trade.
Smith & Nephew (S&N) declined to comment, but the company may now come under pressure to issue a statement, following the sharp rise in its shares. Under British takeover rules, companies are obliged to inform the market of an approach if the news leaks and influences its shares.
Dave Price contributed to this report.