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Abbott Laboratories to buy Biocompatibles' cardiovascular stent business

Abbott Laboratories said it has agreed to acquire the cardiovascular stent business of Biocompatibles International PLC for $234.5 million in cash. Abbott said the deal will strengthen its portfolio of products and will expand its international presence in the vascular business for polymer-coated stents - tiny metal tubes that keep blood vessels open.//

Abbott has been the exclusive U.S. distributor of the British company's BiodivYsio coated stents since 1999. The pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturer also will assume worldwide commercial rights for all potential drug-coated stent products in Biocompatibles' pipeline.

Abbott Laboratories said it expects the deal to be completed in the second quarter. Abbott shares fell 71 cents to $53.30 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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