Smith & Nephew plc agreed to buy ArthroCare Corp. for $1.7 billion in cash to add products for minimally invasive surgery used in sports medicine.

ArthroCare holders will receive $48.25 a share in cash, London-based Smith & Nephew said in a statement today. The price is 6.3 percent higher than the Austin, Texas-based company’s closing level Jan. 31 in Nasdaq trading. ArthroCare rose above the takeover price, indicating some investors are speculating on a higher offer.

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