Britain's Smiths to list struggling healthcare unit

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March 22 (Reuters) - Smiths Group Plc said on Friday it would separate its struggling healthcare business and list it in the UK, months after the company failed to merge the unit with U.S.-based ICU Medical.

Smiths' medical business was valued between 2.3 billion pounds and 2.8 billion pounds by some analysts in September, when the two companies failed to agree on deal terms.

Smiths Medical, a maker of respiratory devices and catheters among other things, has been hit by delays in product launches, stricter regulations and two contract losses in the United States.

The unit's underlying revenue in the first half of the year fell 3 percent, while operating profit fell 12 percent.

The business, which employs more than 8,000 employees, accounts for more than a quarter of the company's total revenue.

Smiths said it expects to complete the process to divest the unit during the first half of 2020, conditional on the approval of its shareholders.

The company, which provides hospital equipment, industrial services and security sensors, also reported a 1 percent fall in total operating profit.

Headline operating profit for the six months ended Jan. 31 fell to 246 million pounds ($323.37 million) from 248 million pounds a year earlier.

($1 = 0.7607 pounds) (Reporting by Justin George Varghese and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)


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