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Novartis in deal to sell diagnostics unit to Grifols for about $1.68 billion

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(GlobalPost/GlobalPost)

GENEVA - Pharmaceutical company Novartis says it is selling part of its diagnostics business to the Spanish health care company Grifols for $1.68 billion.

The company, based in Basel, Switzerland, says the deal with Grifols SA, which is headquartered in Barcelona and is the world's third-largest producer of plasma-derived therapies, requires customary regulatory approvals but is expected to be completed in the first half of 2014.

Joseph Jimenez, the CEO of Novartis, said in a statement Monday the sale of the company's blood transfusion diagnostics unit "enables us to focus more sharply on our strategic businesses while providing Grifols with a platform for global expansion."

Novartis AG says the unit it acquired in 2006 as part of Chiron, an Emeryville, California-based biotech company, had sales of $565 million in 2012.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/the-canadian-press/131111/novartis-deal-sell-diagnostics-unit-grifols-about-168-billio