A Medical Device Daily

VantageMed (Rancho Cordova, California) reported completing a $5 million private placement of 5,376,344 shares of common stock priced at 93 cents a share.

Special Situations Fund, the lead investor, and other institutional investors purchased 90% of the shares, with VantageMed's management team and a member of the company's board purchasing the remaining 10%. Investors in the transaction also will receive warrants to purchase another 1,075,269 shares of common stock priced at $1.30 a share, and warrants to purchase an additional 1,075,269 shares of common stock at $1.55 a share.

VantageMed is a provider of healthcare software products and services to more than 18,000 physician and behavioral health providers nationwide.

"This transaction will enable us to invest in growing our business with a focus on delivering higher quality service to our customers and expanding the market scope of our products," said Steve Curd, CEO of VantageMed.

Merriman Curhan Ford & Co. acted as sole placement agent for this transaction.

Shares of Shamir Optical Industry (Zichron Ya'Akov, Israel) rose 14.3% this past Friday on its first day of trading after its initial public offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq. The stock closed Friday at $16, after being priced at $14 Thursday evening.

Shamir, the first kibbutz-based company to ever go public on the Nasdaq, raised $47.6 million with the share issue at a company value of $225 million. The firm itself floated 3.4 million shares, while shareholders sold an additional 600,000 shares.

Shamir develops multifocal lens molds and half-finished lenses to other optical laboratories, representing about 88% of its revenue, the remainder coming from design services for lens producers.

The price for the issue came in at the middle of the company's $13 to $15 range.

The company's majority shareholder, Kibbutz Shamir, saw its share in the company drop to 61.1% following the offering, from 83%. In return, it has become one of Israel's richest kibbutzim. Proceeds are to be divided equally among all kibbutz members, "regardless of their position or job," the company said.

Shamir describes its progressive additional lenses (PALs) as combing several optical strengths in a single lens to provide a gradual and seamless transition from near to intermediate to distant vision. The global market for such lenses was estimated in 2003 at $12.1 billion.

Located in the Upper Galilee, Shamir has a production facility on Kibbutz Shamir and has allocated $8 million of the IPO proceeds to build a new production facility in the kibbutz. The remainder of the funds will be used to repay a $3.4 million debt, pay out $5.2 million in dividends, and expand marketing and R&D capabilities.

The offering was first disclosed last month (Medical Device Daily, Feb. 17, 2005).

In other financing activity:

• Akers Biosciences (Thorofare, New Jersey) reported receiving $2.5 million, the principal amount of promissory notes convertible into shares of the company's common stock.

Akers said it will use the funds to expand its production facilities and sales force and as working capital following what it called "positive market response" to its products, in particular the heparin/platelet factor-4 antibody test.

The promissory notes were issued by an investment group led by Platinum Partners Value Arbitrage Fund, with Dunwoody Brokerage Services as the placement agent.

The notes, which have an 18-month maturity from the date of the agreement, bear simple interest accruing at the annual rate of 6%, and may be repaid by the company or converted into its common stock under certain conditions.

In addition, the company issued to the investors two different classes of warrants to purchase additional shares of the company's stock. The Class A common stock warrants, which have a life of one year and an exercise price determined by the then current market price, entitle the investors to purchase the same number of shares to which they are entitled under the promissory notes, assuming the complete conversion of the notes issued on the closing date. The company also has issued four Class B warrants, which have a life of five years and an exercise price of $1.49 per common stock, for each 10 shares, which the investors would be entitled to, assuming the complete conversion of the notes on the closing date.

"We are delighted to have attracted additional capital into our company at this important stage in our development which significantly strengthens our financial position. Furthermore, the warrants associated with the investment can provide additional expansion capital in the future," said CEO Ray Akers.

"We have recently secured a string of distribution agreements, including one with Oryx Pharmaceuticals [Mississauga, Ontario] to penetrate Canada with our heparin/platelet factor 4 antibody test, and Alco Industries [Valley Forge, Pennsylvania] to penetrate U.S. retail markets. . . . [W]e require funds to facilitate the expansion of our production facilities in order to achieve our aggressive sales targets."

Akers develops point-of-care screening and testing products.

• DaVita (El Segundo, California) reported that it has priced $500 million aggregate principal amount of its 6-5/8% senior notes, due 2013, and $850 million aggregate principal amount of its 7-1/4% senior subordinated notes, due 2015, in a private placement. The offering is expected to close on or about March 22.

The company said it expects to use the net proceeds, along with available cash, to repay all outstanding amounts under the term loan portion of its senior secured credit facilities.

• Idaho International Isotopes (Idaho Falls, Idaho) reported completing its Series A warrants redemption issued to shareholders who participated in its 2003 rights offering. In excess of 99% of the Series A warrants outstanding were exercised by shareholders. The company has received roughly $1 million from shareholders exercising their Series A warrants and the company has issued 24,933,541 shares of common stock.

The company said that cash provided by shareholders exercising their Series A warrants will be used to support operations and complete Phase I/II of the Fluorine Extraction Process (FEP) manufacturing facility. It said it still expects to complete Phase I and Phase II of the FEP during 2Q05 and by the end of 2005.

Idaho International Isotopes manufactures a nuclear medicine calibration and reference standards and cobalt-60 products such as teletherapy sources, and provides a wide selection of radioisotopes and radiochemicals for medical devices, calibration, clinical research, life sciences and industry.