Johnson & Johnson to acquire medical device maker Synthes for $21.3 billion  U.S.-based consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson has suffered through an embarrassing spate of public relations issues over the past year as consumers lobbed complaints against the company, affirming some of its medications contained metal in their bottles and had foul smells emanating from them. The company paid a hefty fine for the manufacturing errors, but this week it announced it plans to buy Synthes Inc.

Per terms of the deal, J&J will acquire the manufacturer of orthopaedic medical devices for $21.3 billion. If the deal gains regulatory approval, the company will vastly increase its market share in the burgeoning - and increasingly lucrative - medical device industry. Synthes specializes in the manufacturing of innovative devices that help in cases of trauma, spine, and cranio-maxillofacial; it also is regarded for its work in improving power tools.

J&J chief executive Bill Weldon affirmed the deal would help boost the company's medical device division, making it more competitive around the globe. "DePuy and Synthes together will create the most innovative and comprehensive orthopaedics business in the world and enable us to better serve clinicians and patients worldwide," Weldon said in a statement. "Orthopaedics is a large and growing $37 billion global market and represents an important growth driver for Johnson & Johnson."

The deal is expected to close during the first half of 2012.
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