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Medical plastics processor B. Braun of America Inc. has purchased intravenous bag and solution maker McGaw Inc. for between $320 million and $400 million.

B. Braun will pay $320 million in cash and as much as $80 million during an unspecified period to McGaw's parent, Ivax Corp. Total payment will be based on the operating results of McGaw and B. Braun's principal U.S. subsidiary, B. Braun Medical Inc., the companies said in a May 30 announcement.

Details on how the merger will affect the companies' plastics operations have not been worked out, said Mark Pesavento, spokesman for B. Braun Medical Inc.

B. Braun of America is based in Bethlehem, Pa., and employs about 1,700.

Industry officials estimate that privately held B. Braun has more than 60 injection molding machines in three factories in Bethlehem; Allentown, Pa.; and Cherry Hill, N.J. The company makes disposable medical products such as tubing and trays.

B. Braun's U.S. operations will have more than $600 million in sales from three units — B. Braun Medical, Aesculap Instruments Corp. and McGaw — after the merger is completed this month.

B. Braun officials would not disclose its sales. McGaw had $343 million in sales and $23 million in profit in 1996.

McGaw does its own processing, including film extrusion.

Caroll H. Neubauer, B. Braun of America's chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement, ``The acquisition of McGaw and its continued operation as a part of B. Braun of America will position B. Braun as a full-line IV therapy and broad-line hospital supplier to an expanded network of customers in the U.S. marketplace.''

The firm also said acquiring McGaw will give it key technologies in the international market.

B. Braun of America is part of German medical products giant B. Braun Melsungen AG, which has more than $2 billion in annual sales.

Ivax said the sale will allow it to focus on its core pharmaceutical business.

Miami-based Ivax purchased McGaw for $440 million three years ago, the Los Angeles Times reported.