GE to acquire Vital Signs for US$860m

2 August 2008

GE Healthcare is to take over Vital Signs, Inc. (NASDAQ: VITL) for approximately US$860 million. Vital Signs is a global provider of medical products applicable to a wide range of care areas such as anaesthesia, respiratory, sleep therapy and emergency medicine.

The takeover is subject to Vital Signs shareholder and regulatory approval and is expected to be completed at the end of this year. Under the terms of the agreement, shareholders of Vital Signs will receive $74.50 per share in cash for each Vital Signs share they own.

Vital Signs will become part of GE Healthcare’s Clinical Systems business, which provides products for patient monitoring, anaesthesia delivery and acute respiratory care. The strong strategic fit between the two businesses will offer substantial customer benefits through complementary product and service offerings.

"This acquisition is consistent with GE's strategy to invest in high-technology, innovative businesses that deliver top-line growth, earnings expansion and expanded margins," said John Dineen, the newly appointed President and CEO of GE Healthcare. "Vital Signs has consistently grown at double-digit rates while generating strong operating margins. Its products are a great complement to our existing anaesthesia, monitoring and respiratory offerings."

Terry Wall, CEO of Vital Signs said, “This is a tremendous opportunity for us to further develop the Vital Signs business. We are proud of our innovative single patient use technologies and the contribution they have made to reduce patient mortality through limiting hospital acquired infections. By joining GE Healthcare, we see a huge opportunity to bring these products to many more hospitals and improve the care and health of patients worldwide.”

Omar Ishrak, President and CEO of GE Healthcare’s Clinical Systems business commented, “Vital Signs has an outstanding track record as a product innovator, with a well-earned reputation for supplying quality products. Vital Signs’ product offerings are highly complementary with our Clinical Systems business. We believe that combining the skills and knowledge of the two companies will create significant added value for our customers, bringing new technologies to healthcare professionals worldwide. Clinical Systems is a key area of growth for GE Healthcare and expanding our skill base and product offering in this area supports our vision of helping clinicians and nurses deliver the best possible care to their patients.”

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