Stryker, Wright Medical face FTC scrutiny over $4B merger: 4 details

Angie Stewart -   Print  |

Stryker's proposed merger with Wright Medical is facing additional scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission, a Jan. 2 SEC filing shows.

Four things to know:

1. Wright Medical and Stryker announced in November that they signed a definitive agreement for the transaction. They filed notice with the FTC's antitrust division Dec. 16 of their intent to merge through a deal valued at $4 billion in total equity.

2. On Dec. 31, the companies each received a second request from the FTC, which extends the review period and typically seeks additional documents about company services, market conditions and likely competitive effects of the merger.

3. The additional hurdle comes as no surprise to analysts, who quickly predicted a challenge from the FTC due to Wright Medical's focus on lower extremities and small bones.

4. Stryker executives also indicated they were aware of potential obstacles. They predicted during a Nov. 4 conference call that the transaction won't close until the third quarter of 2020.

"We have a lot of work to get through to close and integrate, and as I referenced before, we think the portfolios are highly complementary, but it is just premature to start talking about what products we may or may not discontinue going forward," said Katherine Owen, Stryker's vice president of strategy and investor relations.

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