The price may be Wright at £4bn for Smith & Nephew 

The price may be Wright at £4bn for Smith & Nephew

The new Smith & Nephew chief executive has refused to rule out a $5.4billion (£4.2 billion) bid for Wright Medical.

The FTSE 100 medical equipment business attempted to purchase the US-listed company, which makes implants for shoulders, elbows and ankles, last autumn before backing out.

But when City analysts asked Roland Diggelmann, Smith & Nephew’s new boss, last week whether he was interested in buying Wright Medical, he said: ‘Of course we remain interested in the general area.’ 

Smith & Nephew chief executive Roland Diggelmann has refused to rule out a £4.2 billion bid for Wright Medical

Smith & Nephew is believed to have submitted an offer for Wright Medical after the Memphis-based firm’s advisers begun an auction process in September 2019. 

But after deciding in October to remove its chief executive, Namal Nawana, and replace him with Mr Diggelmann, it pulled out.

The UK giant is believed to have told Wright Medical it was interested in a combination but would not be able to prepare a formal offer until February 2020 due to the management change.

US medical devices giant Stryker Corporation eventually agreed to buy Wright Medical for $5.4billion, but the deal is unlikely to close for several months as American regulators need to examine the takeover and give it approval. 

That gives Smith & Nephew opportunity to submit a rival offer.

Last week, Smith & Nephew’s shares rose to an all-time high after it reported a 4.4 per cent increase in revenues to $5.1billion and forecast they would grow by between 3.5 and 4.5 per cent in 2020.

Smith & Nephew declined to comment further about its interest in Wright Medical.


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