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GE completes Amersham acquisition

13-Apr-2004

General Electric has completed its €8.1 billion acquisition of UK healthcare company Amersham, promising to create a new company that will 'change the face of healthcare,' according to GE chief executive Jeffrey Immelt.

Amersham has been combined with GE medical Systems into GE Healthcare Technologies, a new $14 billion (€11.6bn) business that will be focused on developing tools that help doctors provide better diagnoses, detecting diseases earlier and shaping the emerging field of personalised medicine. The company expects sales to rise to $16 billion in 2005.

Amersham joins another recent acquisition - Finland's Instrumentarium - in bolstering GE's offerings in medical imaging and diagnostics. The US conglomerate has stressed, however, that it will continue to support and develop Amersham's other businesses, focusing on tools for drug discovery, gene sequencing and biopharmaceutical production.

Sir William Castell, formerly chief executive of Amersham who will take on the same role at GE Healthcare, noted in a conference call that the company employs more than 42,500, but there is little overlap so job losses should not number more than about 400. Despite this, the company aims to trim its costs by $100 million this year.

Joseph Hogan will continue to lead the $11 billion medical imaging, services and IT businesses, now named GE Healthcare Technologies, while Peter Loescher, formerly chief operating officer of Amersham, will manage the newly created $3 billion GE Healthcare Bio-Sciences business.

GE Healthcare will have its global headquarters based in Chalfont St Giles, in the UK, as will the Biosciences unit, while GE Healthcare Technologies will be headquartered in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

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