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Baxter in talks to buy Gambro for about $4 billion

(Reuters) - Baxter International Inc is in talks to buy Swedish medical-equipment maker Gambro for about $4 billion, according to a source familiar with the situation.

A deal is seen in the next 2 to 3 weeks but has not been finalized yet, so it could still fall apart, the source said on Friday.

Baxter and Gambro could not be reached for comment.

Gambro is owned by two Nordic private-equity firms. Investor AB, which owns 49 percent, declined to comment; EQT, which owns 51 percent, was not immediately available.

Baxter, based in suburban Chicago, manufactures kidney dialysis equipment, drug infusion pumps and blood therapy products. Acquiring Gambro would boost Baxter's renal business, which currently generates almost one-fifth of Baxter's revenue.

Baxter's dialysis machines perform a form of dialysis called peritoneal, which can be performed at home. Gambro is one of the largest makers of equipment for hemodialysis, which is generally performed in a hospital or clinic.

Baxter posted sales of $13.89 billion in 2011. It had $3.19 billion in cash at the end of the third quarter.

(Reporting By Debra Sherman in Chicago, Paritosh Bansal in New York and Sven Nordenstam in Stockholm; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick, John Wallace and Kenneth Barry)

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