Orthopedic device maker Smith & Nephew: BlackRock now top investor

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The world’s largest asset management firm, BlackRock Inc., boosts its position in Smith & Nephew to nearly 45 million shares, making it the orthopedic company’s largest institutional shareholder.

BlackRock Inc. (NYSE:BLK) increased stake in British orthopedic device maker Smith & Nephew plc (NYSE:SNN) by some 2 million shares, making it the company’s single largest investor.

BlackRock, which previously owned 42 million shares of SNN stock, acquired nearly 3 million additional shares, according to regulatory filings.

The fund now owns 44.8 million SNN shares, good for a 5.02 percent ownership position in the orthopedics giant and making it the single largest institutional shareholder, according to Smith & Nephew’s 2010 annual report.

BlackRock, which controls more than $3.2 trillion in assets, became a major presence in medical devices in late 2009 following its purchase of Barclay’s Global Investors last December.


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