Swiss medical technology group Synthes said Monday it is in takeover talks with US healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson, after media reports of a possible deal worth around $20 billion (14 billion euros).
"In response to market speculation, Synthes Inc confirms that it is engaged in discussions with Johnson & Johnson about a potential business combination transaction," the medical equipment maker said in a statement.
It added it could not give further details or any assurances about potential transactions.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the US group is in talks to buy Synthes in a deal that could be valued at around $20 billion.
Such a transaction could boost Johnson & Johnson's medical equipment business, which made up 40 per cent of its 2010 revenues.
Shares in Synthes soared following the confirmation, trading up 6.71 per cent at 148 francs, bucking the trend of the overall Swiss Market Index which was down 1.26 per cent.