Medical Devices

Medtronic acquires hypertension catheter firm for at least $800M

It wasn’t the “big one” I wrote about last week, but Medtronic Inc. (NYSE:MDT) still is proving itself a prolific deal maker.

The company based in Fridley, Minnesota, said it will pay at least $800 million to purchase Ardian Inc., a firm developing a catheter-based treatment for high blood pressure. Medtronic also said it will make unspecified milestone payments if the Mountain View, California, company hits revenue goals through 2015.

“Hypertension is the leading attributable cause of death worldwide,” Sean Salmon, Medtronic’s vice president and general manager of its coronary and peripheral business, said in a statement.

“We view … treatment of uncontrolled hypertension as one of the most exciting growth markets in medical devices,” Salmon said. “Ardian’s investigational catheter-based treatment … complements Medtronic’s expertise in catheter design and ablation technologies, and augments Medtronic’s interventional therapies.”


Medtronic already owns 11 percent of Ardian. The Fridley device giant has made at least 10 acquisitions since last year.

The acquisition itself may not be as important as its timing: Medtronic will report second quarter earnings early Tuesday morning.

With analysts expecting Medtronic to further lower its annual sales and profit guidance because of slowing global healthcare market, throwing $800 million at some innovative technology targeting a huge patient population is a good way to generate excitement and remind Wall Street the company remains aggressive about boosting sales.

The deal also seizes the spotlight from Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE:BSX). Last week, the Natick, Massachusetts, company with significant operations in Minnesota said it will pay up to $386 million to acquire  heart valve maker Sadra Medical Inc.

Game on!

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