Swiss medical technology group Synthes said on March 18 that it is in takeover talks with healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson.
"In response to market speculation, Synthes Inc confirms that it is engaged in discussions with Johnson & Johnson about a potential business combination transaction," the medical equipment maker said.
It added it could not give further details or any assurances about potential transactions.
The Wall Street Journal reported on March 15 that the US group is in talks to buy Synthes in a deal that could be valued at around $20 billion.
Such a transaction could boost Johnson & Johnson's medical equipment business, which made up 40% of its 2010 revenues.
Shares in Synthes soared following the confirmation, trading up 6.71% at 148 francs, bucking the trend of the overall Swiss Market Index which was down 1.26%.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011