A person familiar with knowledge of the matter was cited by Bloomberg as saying that the deal could be valued at around $2bn and noted that the deal was at an early stage.

Based in New Jersey, Cordis produces products such as catheters and stents. It has around 5,000 employees.

Cordis reported the weakest growth in the 2014 second quarter, where revenue at the unit increased less than 1% to $7.24bn, as per the 15 July statement.

In August, J&J chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky was quoted by the publication as saying that the company was open to divest smaller business.

In the first part of the year, J&J agreed to sell its Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics business to Carlyle Group for around $4bn.

The business sells around 120 tests, ranging from cholesterol to hormones.