Baxter International Inc. is in advanced talks to buy medical device maker Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. for approximately $ 10 billion, according to those familiar with the matter.

A deal that values ​​Hill-Rom at around $ 150 a share could be hit by mid-week, assuming talks fail, people said.

The talks follow an earlier offer from Baxter, valued at $ 144 per share, that Hill-Rom rejected. Hill Rom shares rose in late July on news of the offering and stayed high, closing at $ 132.90 on Friday. Hill-Rom currently has a market cap of nearly $ 9 billion. Baxter is worth $ 37 billion.

Baxter is a Deerfield, Illinois-based medical device company focused in areas such as critical care, nutrition, and surgical products.

Healthcare merger activity has seen a boom this year as companies in the industry vie for economies of scale and other benefits that business brings, and in many cases use increased share prices as currency.

They have completed $ 399 billion in acquisitions so far this year, more than double the prior year, according to Dealogic.

In June, a group of private equity firms reached an agreement to acquire Medline Industries Inc., which the closely held medical care company estimates at more than $ 30 billion. If completed, it would be the largest leveraged buyout since the 2008-09 financial crisis. Then, in early August, healthcare software company Inovalon Holdings Inc. agreed to be sold to a group of private equity firms for more than $ 6 billion.

Total U.S. deal activity so far this year has tripled to nearly $ 2 trillion as the economy recovers from the slowdown caused by the pandemic.

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