Laparoscopic vision systems developer, Viking Systems (San Diego) is seeking to expand its presence in the field of minimally-invasive surgery with the purchase of Tuebingen Scientific Medical (Tübingen, Germany).

The company said that it signed a letter of intent to purchase Tuebingen, which markets its instruments under the brand name Radius, for an undisclosed amount.

“We can’t reveal any monetary amounts at this time behind the acquisition,” Don Tucker, Viking Systems’ CEO, told Medical Device Daily. “I suspect more information about the [transaction] will be available within the next couple of months.”

The proposed acquisition of Tuebingen represents a strategic shift for Viking Systems and would give the company the ability to permeate into the articulating surgical field.

“Effectively we’re marrying our 3-D vision technology with Tuebingin’s articulating surgical technology,” Tucker said. “These two technologies create an incredibly powerful platform. Tuebingen Scientific’s line of articulating surgical instruments, combined with Viking’s 3-D vision technologies, and our Infomatix platform, will allow us the opportunity to offer a new and powerful solution set to the market. With this business combination, Viking Systems would add significant clinical value to our existing technology and offerings, as well as a new and highly synergistic revenue stream to the business. The business combination will also support our entry into new clinical markets, including: cardiovascular, cardiothoracic, and general pediatric surgery. We are convinced that the combination of our solutions would be of tremendous value in complex minimally-invasive surgery, the fastest-growing segment of the surgical market.’’

Synergy between articulating instrumentation and 3-D vision has been validated by surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. In a May 2007 study by the Cleveland Clinic (both Cleveland), the combination of 3-D vision and performance of all surgeons regardless of their level of expertise, and the combination of the two technologies, enabled the surgeons to perform suturing tasks better than either technology singularly.

The company said that completion of the transaction is subject to negotiation and execution of a definitive agreement, due diligence, normal and customary closing conditions, and arrangements by Viking Systems of appropriate financing. Viking said it is currently exploring financing options and assessing its entire capital structure to determine how best to structure its balance sheet, fund the acquisition and provide sufficient operating and growth capital. This assessment process will include discussions with holders of its current debt securities and preferred stock.

Viking has been busy recently. The company just reported a partnership with medical device distributor Saudi Services & HealthCare (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) to expand its international distribution network (MDD, August 13, 2007). Viking said it intends to use the company’s expertise to help Saudi Arabian surgeons understand the impact 3-D vision would have on their surgical practices.

In other deal making news: DDRS (Boise, Idaho) reported the purchase of a medical facility in Des Moines Iowa. Mercy Medical is a single-story Class B medical office building with about 26,901 square feet of rentable office space built in 1995 and expanded in 1999, the building rests on 2.06 acres. The property is currently leased through 2019 to Mercy Medical, which employs about 5,600 employees and 800 physicians in the Des Moines area as part of their network of medical facilities.

DDRS is a nationwide buyer of investment-grade commercial properties. Over the last three years, the company has acquired about 200 properties valued at more than $2 billion. The primary focus of DDRS is on well-positioned, intrinsic-valued real estate such as retail, office, flex, industrial, and multifamily opportunities. DDRS has three regional acquisition offices located in Atlanta, Boise, and Chicago.