A Medical Device Daily

Fluidigm (South San Francisco, California) became the latest company to bail on the initial public offering market this year when it reported last week that it was withdrawing its registration statement. The company first disclosed its plans for an IPO valued at up to $86.3 million this past April (Medical Device Daily, April 18, 2008).

"We went out on September 5th with a very strong story and Fluidigm received a warm reception from the investment community. We explained how our technology contributed to life science research and how the company was poised to grow," said Gajus Worthington, Fluidigm presiden/CEO. "While these messages were well-received, pushing ahead with a deal in the current market was not in our best interest. We have decided to withdraw our S-1 statement rather than keep it pending. By doing so, we free ourselves of the communication restrictions that an active registration statement imposes."

Fluidigm develops Integrated Fluidic Circuit (IFC) systems that are designed to improve productivity in life science research. These "integrated circuits for biology" are made possible by miniaturizing and integrating liquid handling components on a single microfabricated device. Fluidigm's IFC systems, consisting of instrumentation, software and single-use IFCs, increase throughput, decrease costs and enhance sensitivity compared to conventional laboratory systems. Fluidigm products have not been cleared or approved by the FDA for use as a diagnostic and are only available for research use.

The company had planned to use the proceeds from the offering to grow its sales force, commercialize its products, continue R&D, expand its facilities and manufacturing operations and for working capital and other general corporate purposes. It had also planned to use some of the proceeds for future acquisitions.

At the time it filed for its IPO, Fluidigm acknowledged that it expects to incur losses for the foreseeable future and that it has identified significant deficiencies in its internal control regarding financial reporting.

In other financing news, Invitrogen (Carlsbad, California) reported that the syndication of the financing relating to its proposed $6.7 billion acquisition of Applied Biosystems (Foster City, California) reported on June 12, 2008 has been completed (MDD, June 13, 2008).

Pricing for the $2.65 billion financing was in line with expected terms. The Term Loan A, in the amount of $1.4 billion, and the revolving credit facility, in the amount of $250 million, will bear interest at LIBOR plus 250 basis points. The Term Loan A has been committed to by 30 bank lenders. The Term Loan B in the amount of $1 billion, which will bear interest at LIBOR plus 300 basis points, has approximately 250 committed lenders.

"We're very pleased that the syndication of our financing is now complete and in line with our original expected interest rates and upfront fees," said David Hoffmeister, Invitrogen's CFO. "The syndication contains a well-diversified base of domestic and international investors, who see the value in the significant cash flow and future potential of the combined company."

The company expects the merger transaction to close in November, subject to shareholder and European Commission approvals.