A Medical Device Daily

Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts) said last week that its $27.2 billion acquisition of cardiovascular device maker Guidant (Indianapolis) will be delayed about a week, which would cost the company about $4.5 million per day in interest payments.

Boston Scientific had sought to close the deal by the end of March. But in a regulatory filing, the company said it now expects its Guidant acquisition “to occur during the week of April 3.“

The delay will trigger interest payments that Boston Scientific has agreed to pay Guidant shareholders if the deal wasn't concluded by a self-imposed March 31 deadline.

Boston Scientific had stuck by its initial end-of-March goal since late January, when it won a pricey bidding war withJohnson & Johnson (J&J; New Brunswick, New Jersey) to buy Guidant (MDD, Jan. 26, 2006).

The deal requires approval from shareholders of both companies, as well as regulatory clearances in the U.S. and Europe. Shareholder votes have been scheduled for both companies on March 31.

Boston Sci's $80-per-share offer requires the company to pay Guidant shareholders interest at a rate equaling 6% annually for each day after March 31 that the deal hasn't closed. That's about 1.32 cents per day for each of Guidant's 338.9 million outstanding shares.

At that interest rate, Boston Scientific would have to pay out an extra $4.47 million for each day, or about $31.3 million a week.

The interest pledge is one of the enticements that Boston Scientific offered in response to J&J's bidding war argument that its offer provided a speedier route to approval.

Global Healthcare Exchange (GHX; Westminster, Colorado) said it has completed its $200 million acquisition of Neoforma (San Jose, California), having satisfied all of the conditions outlined in the definitive merger agreement first disclosed in October (Medical Device Daily, Oct. 12, 2005).

Immediately prior to the merger, both Veterans Hospital Association (VHA; Washington) and University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC; Oak Brook, Illinois), which collectively owned the majority of Neoforma's outstanding shares, exchanged a portion of their Neoforma shares for equity positions with GHX.

This brings the number of owners of GHX to 20 and further expands the breadth and balance of the ownership base, which includes representatives of the entire healthcare supply chain, the company said.

The company will immediately begin migrating Neo-forma customers to the GHX exchange, while ensuring all customers of both exchanges continue to have access to existing functionality.

The company said the merger adds a “significant number“ of new customers to GHX, bringing the total participants to about 2,500 acute-care hospitals, 800 non-acute facilities and 200 supplier organizations.

“By combining the two companies, we will deliver a comprehensive suite of products and services to a greater percentage of the healthcare supply chain,“ said Michael Mahoney, CEO of GHX. “Eliminating redundant operations will enable GHX to devote more resources to technology development and consultation that help our customers improve current business processes.“

To meet the needs of its expanded customer base, GHX is hiring an additional 150 employees, including about 80 Neoforma employees who have accepted full-time positions with GHX.

GHX will continue to be headquartered in Westminster, with other North American operations in Nashville, Tennessee; San Jose, California; Ambler, Pennsylvania; and Toronto.

The company also has executed a separate outsourcing agreement with VHA, UHC and Novation (Irving, Texas) to provide supply chain management products and services for VHA and UHC hospital members. Novation is the contracting arm of VHA and UHC.

In other dealmaking activity, National HealthCare (NHC; Murfreesboro, Tennessee), which calls itself one of the nation's oldest long-term healthcare companies, said that it purchased Town & Country HealthCare Center (Town & Country, Missouri) for $5.4 million from SeniorTrust (also Murfreesboro).

NHC has been managing the center since 2001. NHC will change the center's name to NHC HealthCare, Town & Country.

NHC operates 74 long-term healthcare centers with 9,177 beds. It also operates 31 homecare programs, six independent living centers and assisted living centers at 22 locations. The company's other services include managed care specialty medical units, Alzheimer's units, hospice and rehabilitation services.

Rasirc unveils steam purification products

Rasirc (San Diego), an innovator of steam purification technology, said it has established operations and completed development of its first products. Rasirc products generate high-flow, ultra-pure water vapor that is contaminant free.

Ultra pure steam is a fundamental requirement in many industries and the foundation of the medical and pharmaceutical industries, Rasirc said. Uses for high-purity steam include sterilization of almost all components used in medicine, surgery, and pharmaceutical engineering. In addition, almost all the water used for making drugs begins as steam and is condensed back into a liquid, the company said.