First Albany Upgrades Zimmer Holdings to 'Buy'

Analyst William Plovanic says the medical-device maker's high bid for Centerpulse clears the way for a merger deal

First Albany upgraded Zimmer Holdings (ZMH ) to buy from neutral.

Analyst William Plovanic says Smith & Nephew withdrew its rival $2.5 billion offer for medical-technology firm Centerpulse, removing near-term uncertainties regarding the bidding war for Centerpulse.

Plovanic thinks the news is positive for Zimmer, as Centerpulse has recommended to its shareholders to accept the highest bid --clearing the way for a merger of Zimmer and Centerpulse. He says Zimmer expects the deal to be accretive within the first year, excluding charges.

He notes Zimmer's $3 billion bid for Centerpulse will be open until Aug. 27. He doesn't see any changes to either bid at this time.

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