• Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts) is considering selling off pieces of its business to pay down about $7.2 billion in debt the company recently told shareholders. "There are some pieces of Boston Scientific we've acquired or inherited over the years that are no longer strategic," said Lawrence Best, executive VP and CFO. Best did not specify which businesses the company might sell. "This is a good thing," Best said. "This will help fund some of the debt repayment. It also simplifies the business and allows management to focus on the sweet spots." Company spokesman Paul Donovan said the possibility that the company would sell off parts did "not at all" reflect on the company's merger with Guidant (Indianapolis) which he said is going well. Boston Scientific acquired the plant from Guidant in early 2006 when it bought the company for $27.2 billion. The plant makes pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators. "What this is reflection on is the strategic thinking and planning and execution of the company," Donovan told the Associated Press. "If certain non-strategic assets don't make sense to hold any further then you would consider selling those, and that's what we're in the process of doing right now." Best also said the company was considering an IPO of a minority portion of the company's endosurgery business. Analysts said the IPO could raise about $1 billion in cash for the company.

• Digirad (Poway, California), a provider of cardiovascular imaging services and solid-state nuclear medicine imaging products, said it has completed the acquisition of privately held Ultrascan (Suwanee, Georgia) a provider of mobile ultrasound and nuclear medicine services primarily in Georgia, for $7.25 million in cash and the assumption of $1.5 million of debt, plus up to $3.85 million in cash and stock if Ultrascan achieves certain milestones over a four-year period. Ultrascan provides mobile ultrasound services to more than 100 clients through a 32-unit mobile fleet as well as fixed-site nuclear imaging services at physician offices, clinics and hospitals primarily in Georgia. "This transaction diversifies Digirad's services and expands our client base," said Mark Casner, CEO of Digirad. "It is a first step in our strategy to create long-term growth by leveraging and complementing Digirad's nuclear cardiology service capabilities with other mobile imaging services.

• Greatbatch (Clarence, New York) and Enpath Medical (Minneapolis) reported that Greatbatch will acquire Enpath for $14.38 a share in cash, or about $102 million, including assumption of debt. Greatbatch will begin a tender offer for all of Enpath's outstanding shares no later than May 8. During a conference call to discuss the deal, Thomas Hook, Greatbatch president/CEO, called the purchase an "exciting and compelling opportunity." With a common core customer base, similar company cultures, and similar growth plans, Hook told conference call listeners, Greatbatch sees the transaction as being part of its "long-term growth platform." Greatbatch is a developer of critical components used in implantable devices and other demanding applications. Enpath is a medical products company that makes single-use medical device products for the cardiac rhythm management (CRM), neuromodulation and interventional radiology markets. Enpath's main product line includes venous vessel introducers and valved introducers used to create a conduit for insertion of infusion catheters, implantable ports and pacemaker leads into a blood vessel; advanced delivery catheters to enable access to parts of the patient's anatomy that can't be reached by traditional introducers; and implantable stimulation leads, adaptors and delivery systems for the cardiac and neuromodulation markets. Greatbatch said the purchase price will be funded out of its available cash, and the deal is not subject to financing conditions. The transaction is expected to close in late June and has been approved by the boards of both companies.

• Novadaq Technologies (Toronto), a developer of real-time imaging systems and image-guided therapies for the operating room, completed the purchase of all intellectual property, certain capital assets and inventory from Xillix Technologies (Richmond, British Columbia). Assets purchased included an auto-fluorescence and multi-modal imaging portfolio of 31 patents and multiple pending applications in the U.S., Japan and Europe and licensed rights to certain fluorescence imaging technologies. Novadaq paid Xillix C$3 million, C$1,075,000 in cash and C$1,925,000 by issuing 224,883 common shares, for C$8.56 a share. Novadaq's imaging platform can be used to visualize blood vessels, nerves and the lymphatic system during surgical procedures. Its SPY Imaging System enables cardiac surgeons to visually assess coronary vasculature and bypass graft functionality during open-heart surgery. It also makes the Opttx system, the HELIOS imaging system, and the LUNA imaging system. Novadaq is also the exclusive U.S. distributor of PLC Medical's CO(2) Heart Laser System for Trans-Myocardial Revascularization from PLC Medical (Franklin, Massachusetts).

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