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Biomet Buys Lanx

And the orthopedic industry's consolidation continues.

Warsaw, Ind.-based Biomet Inc. has signed a deal to acquire Lanx Inc., a privately held spine company in Broomfield, Colo.

Neither side is revealing financial details of the acquisition but Biomet executives said the deal would expand its spine technology portfolio through the addition of Lanx's products, including the Timberline Lateral Approach Fusion System, and the Aspen Minimally Invasive Fusion System. These products are complementary to Biomet Spine's product offering, which is composed of the Lineum OCT Spine System, MaxAn Anterior Cervical Plate System, Cellentra VCBM and the Polaris Translation Screw System.

The acquisition's closing is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary closing conditions. The boards of directors of both Biomet and Lanx have approved the transaction. The acquisition is expected to close on or before Nov. 29.

"This is an exciting opportunity for Biomet to improve its competitiveness in the spine market by leveraging the best aspects of each company and adding strategically important technologies to our product portfolio," Biomet CEO Jeff Binder said. "We look forward to welcoming Lanx team members and distributors to Biomet and working together to build our spine business."

Lanx CEO Dan Gladney called the combined companies a "powerful force in the spine market of the future" while Biomet Spine, Bone Healing & Microfixation President Adam Johnson said the agreement will help his firm achieve its strategic plan of becoming the "partner of choice" for spine distribution companies, hospitals and spine surgeons.

Last year, Biomet's spine and bone healing business slipped 5.1 percent to $291.3 million, part of a transitional fiscal 2013 for the company. Hip and knee implants, Biomet's largest business, sat about flat at $1.7 billion, but the sports, extremities and trauma unit soared 66 percent to $600.1 million thanks to the company's 2012 buyout of a former DePuy unit, carrying Biomet to 7.6 percent annual growth.

Leerink Swann analyst Richard Newitter said the pending acquisition feeds a recent consolidatiion theme in orthopedics.

"The acquisition brings a strong portfolio offering in MIS [minimally invasive surgery], including lateral access fusion, to the Biomet bag and should be a scalable transaction for Biomet's spine division which has been experiencing slowing growth trends in recent quarters," he opined in an analyst note on Oct. 8. "Implications of this acquisition for other medtech players: It feeds the consolidation theme in medtech, broadly, and orthopedics specifically---especially following Stryker's pending acquisition of MAKO Surgical Corp. We would not be surprised to see other small-cap medtech names in our universe get a lift on the news—i.e. Wright Medical Group Inc., Globus Medical Inc., NuVasive Inc., Tornier N.V., and Mazor Robotics Ltd.—similar to what we saw play out when Stryker announced it was buying MAKO several weeks ago."

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