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A worker uses an MDS Manipulator

Nuclear medicine supplier Nordion Inc. has agreed to sell its money-losing Belgian operations to Best Medical Belgium for an undisclosed amount.

The Ottawa-based company, formerly part of MDS Inc. before it was split up, said Monday that it will sell all assets of MDS Nordion SA with the exception of its TheraSphere business, which handles targeted liver cancer radiotherapeutic.

"Due to the losses incurred in the Belgian operations, Nordion made a decision in fiscal 2010 to restructure or exit this business," the company said in a release.

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"This decision is aligned with Nordion's strategy to optimize its product lines by reducing complexity, managing costs and focusing on areas of the business the company believes can generate positive long-term returns."

Nordion said it will keep an estimated $18-million (U.S.) in the business that will be finalized when the transaction closes. The agreement will also cover the employees in Belgium as well as benefit and pension plans.

The transaction is targeted to close within the next several months, pending usual closing conditions, the company said.

Last year, Nordion completed its transition from the former MDS, shifting focus from its former business as a medical imaging specialist to concentrate on selling nuclear isotopes for medical imaging around the world.

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