Market speculating GE eyeing Abbott purchase

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There have been rumblings of a possible acquisition by General Electric of Abbott Laboratories' diagnostic unit in a move to expand its $16 billion healthcare business. The Associated Press is reporting that a sale could go for as much as $5 billion, which would be for either all or a large portion of the Abbott business unit.
If the deal came to fruition, GE would then gain lab equipment operations for blood testing such as for hepatitis, HIV and heart disease, as well as some hand-held bedside diagnostic equipment. Abbott, however, would maintain its booming diabetes monitoring and genetics testing units, Bloomberg reports.

The deal, again, if it became official, would aid GE in competing with Siemens which just recently acquired Bayer AG's diagnostic division. GE Healthcare recently has been increasing its line of diagnostic products used either in clinics or at the point of patient care. The products are designed to transfer patient information from where it is acquired to IT systems for storage or analysis, Bloomberg reports.

Emails and phone calls to GE Healthcare were not returned prior to deadline. Health Imaging News will continue to monitor this story.