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Smith & Nephew to Buy Plus Orthopedics

Smith & Nephew, a British maker of artificial hips, said Monday it agreed to buy Plus Orthopedics Holding, a private Swiss orthopedic company, for about 1.09 billion Swiss francs ($889 million; 617 million euros) in cash to boost its share of the orthopedic reconstruction market.

The British company will also assume debt of about $190 million (144.9 million euros).

Smith & Nephew expects the acquisition to boost earnings in 2008 and beyond. Plus Orthopedics Holding had gross assets of 436 million francs ($357 million; 269.3 million euros) at Dec. 31, 2006, the company said in a statement.

Plus develops a range of orthopedic implants, primarily hips and knees, and also small joint and shoulder products. The company posted revenue of 367 million francs ($300 million; 226.7 million euros). The acquisition will make Smith & Nephew the world's fourth-largest operator in the orthopedic reconstruction market with a market share of about 12%.

Smith & Nephew will finance the acquisition through bank borrowings.

The shares rose 2.5% to 631.00 pence ($12.20; 9.30 euros) on the London Stock Exchange

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