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St. Jude to Buy Switzerland’s Endosense for $171 Million

St. Jude Medical Inc., a maker of defibrillators and pacemakers, said it would buy closely held Endosense SA for at least $171 million (159 million Swiss francs) to gain technology that helps doctors fight irregular heart rhythms.

The all-cash deal for the Swiss company may include additional payments of as much as $161 million if Endosense’s TactiCath ablation catheter meets regulatory targets, St. Paul, Minnesota-based St. Jude said in a statement today.

Endosense’s device, which still needs regulatory approval in the U.S., lets doctors more easily treat atrial fibrillation, a condition in which the heart’s chambers contract too fast or erratically. St. Jude has been trying to grow its market for such treatments as demand for defibrillators and pacemakers ebb amid concern that the devices have been overused.

“The acquisition of Endosense further strengthens our industry-leading portfolio of products to treat patients with cardiac arrhythmias, and provides an opportunity to accelerate our market share capture in the $900 million global cardiac ablation catheter market,” Frank J. Callaghan, president of St. Jude’s Cardiovascular and Ablation Technologies unit, said in the statement.

Endosense just completed a U.S. trial of the device and plans to submit an application to the Food and Drug Administration to treat atrial fibrillation before the end of 2013, St. Jude said in the statement. The company said the purchase wouldn’t affect St. Jude’s forecast for 2013 earnings per share, “except for acquisition-related expenses.”

St. Jude fell less than 1 percent to $51.44 at the close in New York. The shares have gained 42 percent this year.

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