4. Abbott Laboratories

4. Abbott Laboratories

Highlights from the number four spot holder of MPO's Top 30 Global Medical Device Companies report.

By Sean Fenske, Editor-in-Chief09.11.19
In a January 2018 piece about the firm and its leader, Forbes senior contributor Bruce Japsen was right on the money when he stated Abbott’s CEO, Miles White, “may be setting the diversified healthcare company up for a calm year of paying down debt and investing in research and operational performance.” After experiencing back-to-back headlines-filled years in 2016 and 2017, dominated by the two multi-billion dollar acquisitions of St. Jude and Alere, as well as the subsequent ups and downs that came with both transactions—cybersecurity and “hacking” concerns with St. Jude devices, and ethical and financial issues with Alere—it’s no wonder 2018 was significantly quieter in comparison.
At the time of the Forbes article, Abbott’s debt load had recently been reduced by $4 billion from $28 billion, which represented the largest in the firm’s 130-year history (a result of the two major deals in the years prior). White expected to pay down another $4 billion before the end of 2018, noting that as a top priority. According to the firm’s 2018 annual report, the company exceeded that goal by approximately $700 million.
For more information about Abbott, check out the company’s full Top 30 report here!
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