Baxter International has agreed to purchase Swedish medical-equipment maker Gambro for $26.5 billion Swedish kronor ($4 billion U.S. dollars).
The goal of the purchase is to expand Baxter's dialysis product portfolio.
"The acquisition...complements Baxter's global home dialysis offerings and positions the company to better meet the evolving needs of the large and growing dialysis market," according to a press release from Baxter.
The deal, if completed, would combine the world's No. 2 maker of dialysis equipment by revenue, with Gambro, the third-largest. Gambro had sales of about $1.6 billion in 2011.
More than 2 million people globally are on some form of dialysis and according to Baxter, treatment rates for dialysis are increasing more than 5 percent annually.
Baxter International is building a $1 billion manufacturing center in Newton and Walton counties and plans to hire around 1,500 full-time workers by 2018.
The manufacturing plant is the first to be built in the pre-planned, 1,620-acre Stanton Springs industrial park, located just west of Interstate 20 exit 101 at the intersection of Newton, Walton and Morgan counties.