Covidien Buys Aspect Medical Systems

NEW YORK (AP) -- Covidien PLC said Monday it will buy brain monitoring technology company Aspect Medical Systems Inc. for about $210 million, in a move meant to broaden the drug and medical device maker's product portfolio.

Ireland-based Covidien will pay $12 per share for Norwood, Mass.-based Aspect, marking a 56 percent premium to Aspect's closing price of $7.67 Friday. The deal should close by the end of the year.

The buyout comes a week after Covidien completed the sale of its sleep diagnostics unit assets to Embla Systems for an undisclosed amount. The company said it made the sale as part of a shift to focus more on its higher-margin businesses. Covidien also laid off 70 people at a medical supplies plant in Norfolk, Neb. last week as part of a restructuring move. The plant makes syringes and blood-collection tubes and will have 360 employees when the layoffs are complete in April. Covidien has more than 41,000 employees worldwide.

Covidien said it expects a charge related to the acquisition of Aspect Medical to cut into its earnings-per-share in 2010.

Shares of Covidien closed at $41.36 Friday.

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