Smith & Nephew Shares Soar on FT Report That Stryker Plans Bid

Smith & Nephew Plc soared the most in 16 years after the Financial Times reported that Stryker Corp. is preparing a takeover offer for the maker of artificial hips and knees.

Smith & Nephew climbed 16 percent to 1,099 pence at 2 p.m. London time, giving the London-based company a market value of 9.8 billion pounds ($16.5 billion). The stock gained as much as 18 percent, the biggest intraday advance since July 21, 1998.

Stryker has retained investment bankers and is working on putting together financing, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the matter. It couldn’t be determined how much Stryker planned to pay, the newspaper reported.

The purchase would allow Kalamazoo, Michigan-based Stryker to reduce its tax bill by domiciling itself in the U.K., the newspaper reported.

Charles Reynolds, a spokesman for Smith & Nephew, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment. Yin Becker, a Stryker spokeswoman, didn’t immediately return phone calls or email seeking comment.

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