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Merit will buy Thomas Medical Products for $167M

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah (AP) -- Disposable medical device maker Merit Medical Systems Inc. said Tuesday that it has agreed to buy Thomas Medical Products, a division of GE Healthcare, for $167 million.

Thomas Medical Products makes catheter-based vascular access devices used in heart rhythm management, cardiology, and radiology. Merit said the company will have about $37 million in revenue in 2012.

Thomas Medical Products is based in Malvern, Pa.

Merit Medical said the deal should close by the end of 2012. Over the first nine months of 2012 Merit Medical had $292 million in revenue.

Shares of Merit Medical Systems rose 60 cents, or 4.5 percent, to $13.83 in afternoon trading.

Raymond James analyst Jayson Bedford said this is Merit Medical's largest acquisition. In a note to clients, Bedford said Merit could speed Thomas' growth by marketing its products overseas. He rates Merit shares at "Buy" with a price target of $16.