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Abbott buys AMO, Gets Double-Digit Growth Segment

Executive Summary

The ophthalmic industry has traditionally stood alone, with its own device and pharmaceutical companies selling products marketed to specialists. So the announcement on January 12 that diversified giant Abbott Laboratories would acquire Advanced Medical Optics was initially astonishing, as was the hefty premium that Abbott offered. Perhaps Abbott was willing to pay more than it otherwise would have because of the recent divestiture of its Abbott Spine business. In AMO, Abbott is getting a business that almost can't fail to grow by double digits (despite recent economic stresses on the laser vision correction market) because of the demographics of the ophthalmology industry and improving margins on products like intraocular lenses, which serve the burgeoning elderly cataract patient population.
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