J&J gets $2.1B offer to sell Lifescan glucometer business

By Jonah Comstock
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Platinum Equity, a Los Angeles-based global investment firm focused on mergers, acquisitions, and operations, has made a binding offer to acquire Johnson & Johnsons' Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania and Zug, Switzerland-based LifeScan business, which sells the OneTouch line of connected and non-connected glucometers. Platinum Equity will pay $2.1 billion for the business, which reported $1.5 billion in net revenue last year.

"LifeScan's OneTouch blood glucose monitoring products play an important role in the lives of millions of patients living with diabetes, and following a thorough review of all strategic options, we feel confident that the business would have a promising future with Platinum Equity," Ashley McEvoy, company group chairman of Consumer Medical Devices at Johnson & Johnson, said in a statement. "This initiative is part of our ongoing, disciplined approach to portfolio management to focus on our most promising opportunities to help patients and drive growth."

Assuming the offer is accepted, the transaction is expected to close by the end of the year. LifeScan President Valerie Asbury would continue to lead the business, as Platinum Equity plans to make the transition as seamless as possible for customers.

“LifeScan has been a leader in diabetes care for more than 30 years and has consistently developed and brought to market industry-leading products,” Platinum Equity Partner Jacob Kotzubei said in a statement. “We have worked closely with Johnson & Johnson to craft a divestiture solution for LifeScan that would create a global standalone business and set the stage for continued investment in growth and innovation. Once our offer is accepted we will work with the management team to ensure a seamless transition on behalf of patients, healthcare providers, and the company’s employees around the world.”

Digital health insiders will recognize LifeScan as one of the first mainstream glucometer brands to experiment with apps and wireless connectivity — in fact, the company took the stage at an Apple developer event in 2009, just two years after the first iPhone launched. Years later, its OneTouch Verio Sync Meter became the first big name glucometer company to integrate with Apple HealthKit.

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