Johnson & Johnson Said Exploring Sale of Cordis Devices Business

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), the world’s biggest maker of health-care products, is exploring a sale of its Cordis unit, which pioneered the market for drug-coated heart stents, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

The division, which sells products including catheters and stents, may fetch as much as $2 billion, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The process is in the early stages, the person said.

The medical-devices business, which includes Cordis, is J&J’s second-biggest behind pharmaceuticals and showed the weakest growth in the second quarter. Revenue at the unit rose less than 1 percent to $7.24 billion, according to a statement July 15, as total sales climbed 9 percent to $19.5 billion. About three years ago, after losing ground to rivals, Cordis said it would abandon the market for drug-coated heart stents and focus on other products.

A spokeswoman for J&J, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, declined to comment.

Last month, J&J Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alex Gorsky said the company was open to divesting smaller business.

Earlier this year, J&J agreed to sell its Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics business, which sells more than 120 tests for everything from high cholesterol to hormones, to Carlyle Group LP for about $4 billion.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Welch in New York at dwelch12@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Mohammed Hadi at mhadi1@bloomberg.net Elizabeth Wollman, Andrew Pollack

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.