The Future of Baxter, Gambro

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By Kasia Michalik

The merger process between Baxter International and the Swedish dialysis product company, Gambro AB, was finalized in early December 2012. Baxter purchased Gambro for $4 billion in order to expand and grow internationally in the dialysis market.

Currently, during the transaction process, regulatory clearance needs approval in Europe, the U.S. and other markets around the world, and it is based on the portfolios.

“We estimate that time frame will take upwards of several months, and we hope to achieve that regulatory clearance the first half of 2013. At that point we will start to figure out how the two companies might best fit together,” said Christy Hummel Noland, corporate communications, Baxter. “We obviously did a great deal of due diligence, when we were looking at Gambro for a potential partner before we entered into this agreement, but there’s still so much that we don’t know. Until we are able to really truly collaborate after that closing period, I think we will have a much better idea about how the two organizations will fit together.”

The companies will continue working with their customers separately until the clearances are approved and the two can come together as one.

Having just signed the agreement and beginning the integration planning process, no current product line changes are anticipated until the planning process gets underway, which isn’t expected to close until the end of the first half of 2013.

The two companies have been discussing this merger for many months and with similar mission statements on saving and sustaining lives.

“The business rationale for combining Gambro and Baxter is compelling,” said Zlatko Rihter, president Global Business Unit Chronic, Gambro. “The companies have a complementary product portfolio and by integrating Gambro’s expertise in extracorporeal therapies, and its technologies and promising pipeline with Baxter’s peritoneal and home dialysis portfolio, we will create a comprehensive dialysis portfolio which will be better positioned to serve the needs of renal customers across the globe.”

With both companies being around for many years—Gambro reaching 50 and Baxter slightly over 50 years—the combination of the two offers customers a vast experience in the renal community around the world.

“Gambro’s next generation monitors, dialyzers, systems and dialysis solution will help Baxter to build upon its pipeline of investigational home hemodialysis and automated PD systems,” Rihter said. “Our portfolio in the chronic segment consists of HD products including advanced monitors, dialyzers such as Revaclear for example, bloodlines, and dialysis solutions. Gambro’s in-center HD devices include the Phoenix, Artis, AK 96, and the AK 200 ULTRA S systems. In the acute segment, which includes continuous renal replacement therapy to treat acute kidney injury (AKI), and aquapheresis for the treatment of patients with fluid overload, Gambro offers the Prismaflex system, a widely used therapy for treatment of critically ill patients with AKI.”

The goal in kidney care for both companies is to save, sustain and improve patient lives.

“We recognize that innovation is vital to our future. Our ongoing growth and success depends on our commitment to [acquiring] innovative science, and developing an array of novel cost-effective products and therapies that save and sustain lives, and deliver value to patients and customers,” Bob Parkinson, chairman, CEO of Baxter said in a conference call. “This transaction provides us with access to a pipeline of proprietary and next-generation monitors, dialyzers, systems, and dialysis solutions to augment Baxter’s very strong new-product pipeline.”

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