Bayer has hit the acquisition trial and expanded its position in women's health by buying US birth control specialist Conceptus.

The German group is going to pay $31.00 a share in cash, which represents a premium of around 20% compared to its stock price at the end of last week and values Conceptus at about $1.10 billion. For its cash, Bayer is getting hold of Essure, which it describes as the leading non-surgical, hormone-free permanent birth control method.

Approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2002, the Essure procedure can be performed in less than 10 minutes and is 99.8% effective based on five years of follow-up with zero pregnancies reported in clinical trials. Over 700,000 women worldwide have undergone the procedure.

Conceptus had sales of $141 million in 2012 and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation was $28.2 million. Headquartered in Mountain View, California, the company employs some 300 people.

Bayer chief executive Marijn Dekkers said the company is "committed to augmenting its organic growth with strategic bolt-on acquisitions". He added that the Conceptus buy "represents an excellent fit for our healthcare business - specifically in the USA".

Andreas Fibig, president of Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, said that Essure completes the firm's portfolio of long-acting intrauterine systems and short-acting oral contraceptives. He added that "our experience in the field of gynaecology combined with our sales and distribution expertise will help to further develop Conceptus’ business".