Smiths Group sells IVF unit Wallace for £140 million

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Engineering company Smiths Group today sold off healthcare business Wallace for £140 million as it forged ahead with efforts to streamline its operations.

US-based CooperSurgical snapped up Wallace, a pioneer of in-vitro fertilisation or IVF, the fertility treatment that has helped millions of women, including actress Nicole Kidman, to conceive.

In recent years Smiths, which provides security scanners for Heathrow airport, has been hit by spending cuts in defence and healthcare, and a drop in the oil price has hurt its energy business.

Smiths chief executive, Andy Reynolds Smith, was brought in last year to revive the company and has promised to raise spending on research and focus on higher margin businesses.

Reynolds Smith said the company has now freed up £170 million for reinvestment in growth opportunities through asset sales.

Investment company Bacit — the Battle Against Cancer Investment Trust — said it was planning to create a £1 billion life sciences fund by combining Cancer Research UK’s Pioneer Fund and the Wellcome Trust’s Syncona.

Under the name Syncona, Bacit will invest around £100 million a year in the development of cancer drugs.

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November 8, 2016 |
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