San Juan Unit of Becton Dickinson Put Up for Sale

Jeff Rowe is a free-lance writer

Becton Dickinson & Co., a medical equipment maker, said it plans to sell its San Juan Capistrano-based Endevco division, which manufactures shock- and vibration measuring instruments used in jet engines, nuclear power plants and ordnance production.

Becton, of Paramus, N.J., said the Endevco unit had fiscal 1985 sales of about $50 million and has about 600 employees worldwide. About 450 of those workers are at the Orange County facility.

Wesley J. Howe, Becton's chairman and chief executive, said that Endevco has been "remarkably successful" but that Becton wants to focus its interests on its "primary concentration" in the health care industry. In addition to needles and syringes, Becton makes blood collection equipment, diabetic care products, thermometers and Ace bandages. The company also is engaged in research and development work with monoclonal antibodies.

Howe said Becton expects to complete the Endevco sale before Sept. 30, the end of its fiscal year.

Becton, which said its fiscal 1985 sales totaled $1.1 billion, hired First Boston Corp. as its investment banker for the sale. A firm price for Endevco has not yet been established, Becton officials said.

Endevco management is expected to stay when the unit is sold, an Endevco spokesman said.

In trading Monday on the New York Stock Exchange, Becton closed at $34 1/8, down 37 1/2 cents.

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