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Baxter Buys 40 Percent Stake In Sigma

Company said Wednesday it bought a stake in Sigma International and will market one of Sigma’s infusion pumps, paying $100 million upfront in the deal.

DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Baxter International Inc. said Wednesday it bought a stake in Sigma International and will market one of the company's infusion pumps, paying $100 million upfront in the deal.

Baxter will buy a 40 percent stake in Sigma of Medina, N.Y., and could pay an additional $130 million if the Spectrum pumps reach development, regulatory and commercial milestones, or buy the company outright. The deal is not expected to have a significant impact on Baxter's results this year.

Sigma International General Medical Apparatus makes large volume infusion pumps, including Spectrum. Baxter says that the pump -- which delivers medicine and intravenous fluids -- is about a tenth as large as other large-volume pumps and weighs 2.5 pounds. The product was launched in the U.S. in August 2005, and about 35,000 are in use.

Under the three-year distribution agreement, Baxter said it will be able to provide the pump to customers immediately, and will also have access to Sigma's pipeline of products in development.

In morning trading, shares of Baxter fell 56 cents to $48.55.

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