Medtronic shareholders OK $48 billion Covidien acquisition

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MINNEAPOLIS — Shareholders of medical device maker Medtronic on Tuesday approved the acquisition of Dublin, Ireland-based surgical supplier Covidien PLC in a corporate deal valued at about $48 billion.

The owners of about 75 percent of Medtronic's outstanding shares voted in favor of the acquisition, which is the largest transaction in the history of the Minneapolis company.

About 100 people attended the investors meeting in Minneapolis, where Medtronic chief executive Omar Ishrak fielded some pointed questions, the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1xOcSda ) reported. Some shareholders were angered by the acquisition because it moves the legal headquarters of the combined company to Ireland, where the company can benefit from that country's lower tax rates.

The plan to buy Covidien was announced in June. The new company, called Medtronic PLC, will keep its executive offices in Minnesota and plans to invest in new jobs in the state. The acquisition will nearly double Medtronic's annual revenue, to $27 billion, and help it expand in smaller and emerging countries, the newspaper reported.

"The completion of the acquisition of Covidien by Medtronic will usher in a historic new chapter in the history of Medtronic and will help us advance our long-standing mission of alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life for patients all over the world," Ishrak, who will lead the new company, told shareholders Tuesday moments after the votes were tallied.

The deal was also approved by Covidien shareholders Tuesday. It still needs approval from the Irish High Court.

Medtronic is paying $35.19 per share and exchanging each Covidien share for 0.956 shares in the new company.

Dissenting shareholders bemoaned the loss of a storied local company founded 65 years ago in northeast Minneapolis.

"Medtronic's turned their backs on shareholders, the United States, the state of Minnesota," said John Hilger, who voted against the deal.


Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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