Questions arise over GE bid

May 14, 2003

GE may not get all it wants from its bid to acquire Instrumentarium. The London-based Financial Times reports that GE may have to sell off some assets to obtain permission from the European Union for the takeover. Brussels is pushing hard for concessions

GE may not get all it wants from its bid to acquire Instrumentarium. The London-based Financial Times reports that GE may have to sell off some assets to obtain permission from the European Union for the takeover. Brussels is pushing hard for concessions as part of a probe into the effects of the proposed merger. The probe was launched by the EU in early April (SCAN 4/16/03). Regulators' concerns have been heightened by objections to the deal from GE rivals Siemens and Philips, according to the Times.

The sale of at least some of Instrumentarium's patient monitoring business might be the price GE will have to pay for the deal to go through, the Times reported. Other assets involving mobile x-ray and mammography equipment may also have to go. These demands could appear in a "statement of objections" to be sent to Instrumentarium and GE in the next few weeks. Joseph Hogan, president and CEO of GE Medical, predicted three months ago that no disposals would be needed in order to gain European approval. The final outcome is a long way from being decided, however, as the EU probe into the proposed deal is only in the early stages. The EU investigation is expected to continue into August.