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UPDATE 1-Baxter plans to spin off biotech business in 2015

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March 27 (Reuters) - Baxter International Inc said it would spin off its biotechnology operations into a publicly traded company by the middle of next year, leaving behind its core medical technology business.

After the news on Thursday, shares of Baxter were up 10.6 percent at $77.50 in premarket trading.

The new, as-of-yet unnamed biopharmaceutical company will be led by Ludwig Hantson, president of its BioScience group, while Baxter Chief Executive Officer Robert Parkinson will continue in his role.

"Baxter has an established history of executing successful spinoffs, and we have continued to evaluate the separation of these two businesses in response to diverging business dynamics and the rapidly changing macro-environment," Parkinson said in a statement.

Other companies that Baxter has spun off in the past three decades include Edwards Lifesciences Corp, Caremark Corp, and Allegiance Healthcare Corp.

Baxter said its biotech business, which includes plasma-based proteins to treat hemophilia and other bleeding disorders, had 2013 revenue of $6 billion, while medical products and equipment sales were $9 billion.

The company said it expected to take a one-time charge for the sale but that it should not affect its financial forecast for 2014.

(Reporting by Caroline Humer; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Lisa Von Ahn)

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