Bayer to buy contraceptive firm Conceptus

Bayer factory
Image caption Bayer said the deal would enable it to offer a complete range of contraceptive products for women

German healthcare firm Bayer plans to buy US contraceptive maker Conceptus in a $1.1bn (£700m) deal to increase its range in the female healthcare sector.

Bayer said it would pay $31.00 a share in cash for Conceptus - a 20% premium to the price at the end of last week.

Conceptus makes a type of permanent non-hormonal contraceptive called Essure, which made $141m in sales last year.

Bayer said the purchase would expand its current range of products.

"With this acquisition, Bayer will be able to offer a complete range of short-term, long-term and permanent contraceptive choices for women," Bayer said in a statement.

Bayer already owns several rival contraceptive products, including the Yasmin contraceptive pill and the Mirena intrauterine device.

Its female healthcare business made sales of 3.15bn euros ($4.1bn; £2.6bn) last year.

"Our experience in the field of gynaecology combined with our sales and distribution expertise will help to further develop Conceptus' business," said Andreas Fibig, head of Bayer unit HealthCare Pharmaceuticals.

The purchase of Conceptus is the latest in a series of small acquisitions by Bayer.

Last September, Bayer agreed to buy Teva's American animal health operations for up to $145m, following the purchase of AgraQuest, a developer of bacteria to fight plant disease, for at least $425m.

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