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Grifols (GRFS) and Novartis (NVS) Gain on Acquisition News

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis (NVS - Get Report) has announced it will sell its blood transfusion diagnostics unit to Grifols (GRFS - Get Report) for $1.68 billion.

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

For the full year 2012, the unit brought in $565 million in net sales, 1% of the Novartis' total $56 billion in revenue. Grifols said the division will account for more than 20% of its company's total sales and plans to ramp up turnover close to $1 billion.

The blood transfusion diagnostics unit, located in Emeryville, California, is committed to developing transfusion medicine and immunology. Barcelona-based Grifols said the unit will complement its production of plasma protein therapies, particularly helpful to patients with rare genetic diseases such as blood-clotting disorders.

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The transaction, pending regulatory approval, should close in the first half of 2014. 

Global law firm Proskauer acted as Grifols' legal adviser on the deal, led by New York-based partners Peter Samuels and Daniel Ganitsky. 

In morning trading, Grifols opened 6% higher to $31.76, while Novartis is up 1% to $78.

--Written by Keris Alison Lahiff.

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