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UPDATE 1-Cardinal Health to sell Cordis medical device business in $1 bln deal

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(Updates with background)

March 12 (Reuters) - Drug distributor Cardinal Health Inc said on Friday it would sell its Cordis medical device business to private equity firm Hellman & Friedman in a deal valued at about $1 billion.

While most assets and liabilities associated with the Cordis business will transfer to Hellman & Friedman, Cardinal will retain full authority for lawsuits related to inferior vena cava filters in the United States and Canada, as well as liability associated with these matters, the company said.

Cardinal Health expects a pre-tax loss of up to $120 million in the third quarter of its fiscal year 2021 after the deal closes.

Johnson & Johnson sold the Cordis unit to Cardinal Health for $1.9 billion in 2015.

Cardinal, which has a market cap of $15 billion, is among the drug makers and distributors facing lawsuits for allegedly fuelling the opioid crisis in the United States. (Reporting by Manas Mishra and Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)