A Medical Device Daily

Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts) is considering selling off pieces of its business to pay down about $7.2 billion in debt the company told shareholders Tuesday.

"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 a 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."

On Tuesday, 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.

Boston Scientific stock was down 9 cents, closing at $16.58.

In other dealmaking news:

• Inverness Medical Innovations (Waltham, Massachusetts), maker of rapid diagnostic products, reported that it has acquired Benelux distributor Orange Medical (Tilburg, the Netherlands) in an all cash deal for about 14.2 million ($5.7 million).

The acquisition of Orange Medical, which has companies in the Netherlands and Belgium, will increase Inverness' direct distribution network for its professional diagnostic products into Benelux, the company noted. The acquisition is consistent with Inverness' efforts to continue to improve margins by bringing distribution in-house, it said.

A subsidiary of LifeCare Holdings (Plano, Texas) has entered into a sale/leaseback transaction with Health Care REIT (HCN; Toledo, Ohio). HCN has bought from LifeCare the long-term acute care hospital currently being constructed by the company in San Antonio and has leased the facility back to LifeCare. The total purchase price for the hospital, following the completion of construction, is expected to be about $15.6 million. The initial lease term is 15 years and LifeCare has one 15-year renewal option.

LifeCare operates 19 long-term acute care hospitals in nine states.

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