Two medical-device makers you've probably never heard of are in talks to merge for a price that rivals the size of small economies like Latvia, Jordan and Luxembourg.
The two companies, Medtronic and Covidien—who might as well be Transformers for all most people know—are poised to announce a $40 billion deal on Monday, unnamed sources told the Wall Street Journal.
Medtronic makes cardiovascular and orthopedic devices and is based in Minneapolis, while Covidien, which is based in Ireland, makes staplers, feeding pumps and other devices used in surgery.
The deal would lower Medtronic's tax rate in the United States by coupling it with the lower-taxed Irish company. The U.S. corporate tax rate is 35%, and Ireland's is 12.5%.
Huge medical company deals are apparently the mergers de nos jours, with Pfizer most recently launching an abortive takeover bid of the U.K.'s AstraZeneca, a roughly $120 billion deal.
According to the International Monetary Fund figures, Latvia's total gross domestic product in 2013 was $38.9 billion, while Jordan's was $40 billion and Luxembourg was $42 billion.