NEW YORK — Johnson & Johnson said Friday that it is paying more than $4.3 billion in cash to buy the eye health unit of Abbott Laboratories as it seeks to boost its vision business.

The unit, called Abbott Medical Optics, makes lasers and other equipment used for cataract surgeries and laser vision correction procedures. It also makes eye drops and cleaners for contact lenses. AMO posted sales of $1.1 billion last year.

Johnson & Johnson said that the purchase will enter it into the cataracts surgery market and grow its own vision business, which includes Acuvue contact lenses. The New Brunswick, New Jersey, company makes baby shampoo, blood testing equipment and other health care products.

Abbott, based in North Chicago, Illinois, said that it is selling the unit to focus on its treatments for the heart and arteries and its disease testing equipment.

The deal is subject to antitrust clearance and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson slipped 38 cents to $118.25 Friday. Abbott shares rose 75 cents to $41.87.

VIAThe Associated Press
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