Smiths Group (LON:SMIN) is close to calling off talks with Nasdaq-listed ICU Medical about a £7-billion merger, Sky News has revealed. A final decision, however, has yet to be made by the London-listed group’s chief executive, Andy Reynolds Smith.
Smiths’ share price has been little changed in London this morning, having inched 0.03 percent lower to 1,613.00p as of 09:38 BST. The stock is underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having climbed into positive territory and currently standing 0.31 percent higher at 7,742.08 points. The group’s shares have added just under three percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a 2.5-percent gain in the Footsie.
Smiths and ICU could call off merger talks
Sky News reported last night that Smiths was leaning towards a decision to halt negotiations with ICU about a tie-up more than two months after they got underway. Banking sources told the newswire that reports of the talks had prompted Baxter International, another US healthcare company, to express an interest in buying Smiths Medical outright. It, however, remains unclear whether any live talks were still taking place between Smiths and Baxter or any other potential suitors.
A person close to Smiths has further told Sky News that any change in the group’s position would be announced immediately to the London Stock Exchange.
Analysts on FTSE 100 group
The 12 analysts offering 12-month price targets for Smiths Group for the Financial Times have a median target of 1,710.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 2,000.00p and a low estimate of 1,575.00p. As of August 3, the consensus forecast amongst 15 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip group has it that the company will outperform the market.