Abbott scouts for emerging-markets deals

It looks as if 2010 will be another big year for emerging-markets M&A. As the Wall Street Journal Health Blog reports, Abbott Laboratories is looking to grow its "geographic footprint," and it's on the lookout for deals that would augment its operations around the world, especially in emerging markets.

So said CEO Miles White yesterday during an earnings call with analysts. When asked whether Abbott's plate was full, considering last year's $7 billion deal for Solvay's vaccines business and $1 billion-plus buy of Advanced Medical Optics, White said no. He's keeping his eyes open for deals that would either a.) offer something new to add to Abbott's global mix, or b.) expand its existing franchises in global markets.

"We're mindful of further geographic footprint," White said. "I have mentioned before the emerging markets are clearly a priority for us, and our footprint there important to us in a number of businesses." Abbott could run up against its competition out there. Everyone who's anyone in Big Pharma these days is chasing sales in emerging markets. The only question is, which one makes a deal next?

- read the Health Blog post