(Adds Baxter declined to comment)
Aug 7 (Reuters) - British engineering firm Smiths Group Plc is close to abandoning talks with U.S.-based ICU Medical Inc over a 7 billion pound ($9 billion) merger of their healthcare divisions, Sky News reported on Monday.
Smiths is leaning toward a decision to halt negotiations with ICU Medical about the tie-up, more than two months after they got under way, Sky News said. (bit.ly/2MoStI5)
A final decision has yet to be made by Smiths and any change in its position would be announced immediately to the London Stock Exchange, Sky News reported, citing a person close to the British company.
Sky News also said, citing banking sources, that the deal talks had prompted U.S. hospital-product maker Baxter International Inc to express interest in buying Smiths' medical unit, adding it was unclear whether any talks were still ongoing between Smiths and Baxter or any other potential suitors.
Baxter declined to comment, while Smiths and ICU Medical were not immediately available to comment. ($1 = 0.7726 pound) (Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru and Elisabeth O'Leary Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Chris Reese)