Colorado MEDtech (Boulder, Colorado), a provider of medical technology outsourcing services and imaging products, said its Civco Medical Instruments (Kalona, Iowa) subsidiary completed the acquisition of Barzell-Whitmore Maroon Bells (Sarasota, Florida). Consideration for the purchase consisted of 127,000 shares of Colorado MEDtech stock and $2 million cash at closing, plus up to an additional $2.2 million if certain performance standards are met. Barzell-Whitmore designs positioning and stabilizing devices used in image-guided minimally invasive surgery, with current uses in the evaluation of colorectal disease and in the treatment of prostate cancer, and expected future applications in laparoscopic surgery and the treatment of benign prostate hyperplasia.

Encore Medical (Austin, Texas), an orthopedic products company, has completed its acquisition of Chattanooga Group (Hixson, Tennessee), a manufacturer of orthopedic rehabilitation equipment. The combined entity will have estimated annual revenues exceeding $100 million. Under the terms of the acquisition, all of the outstanding stock in Chattanooga Group was purchased by Encore for approximately $37 million, which included cash and the payoff of Chattanooga's outstanding debt.

GE Medical Systems (Waukesha, Wisconsin) signed a definitive agreement to acquire Visualization Technology (VTI; Lawrence, Massachusetts), which develops electromagnetic-based image guided surgery systems. Terms were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close this month. VTI's InstaTrak systems allow continuous navigation during a surgery procedure regardless of the patient's position or the location of the surgical instruments. VTI's products are used in image-guided surgery in the specialties of ENT, cranial, spine and orthopedics.

Guerbet SA (Paris) has completed the acquisition of all assets and rights related to Oxilan from Cook Imaging (Bloomington, Indiana) and has created a new subsidiary based in Bloomington to market and distribute the X -ray contrast medium. Guerbet said the acquisition of Oxilan gives it a foothold in the U.S. market. Guerbet also intends to introduce its MRI contrast agent, Dotarem, to the U.S. market.

Pall (East Hills, New York) has signed a definitive agreement to purchase the Filtration and Separations Group (FSG) of USFilter Corp., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Vivendi Environnement, for total cash consideration of $360 million. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of this month. FSG's filtration products for the separation and purification of liquids and gases serves the food & beverage, industrial, biotech and pharmaceutical industries, among others.

Paradigm Medical Industries (Salt Lake City, Utah) completed its acquisition of Innovative Optics (IO; Albuquerque, New Mexico) for an undisclosed amount of common stock. Privately owned IO is a manufacturer of equipment used in microkeratome procedures that are part of LASIK surgery. The deal includes acquisition of Innovative Optics' manufacturing site in Albuquerque, along with its patents and inventory.

Quest Diagnostics (Teterboro, New Jersey) has signed an agreement to acquire American Medical Laboratories (AML; Chantilly, Virginia), in an all-cash transaction valued at $500 million, including the assumption of about $160 million in debt. AML is a national provider of esoteric testing to hospitals and specialty physicians and is a provider of diagnostic testing services in the Nevada and Washington, DC, markets. AML's operations include two full-service laboratories, 51 patient service centers and hospital sales, service and logistics capabilities. It also has an anatomic pathology business served by approximately 30 board-certified specialty pathologists. Prior to the closing, AML will acquire an affiliated company, LabPortal, a provider of electronic health care connectivity products. Quest said it would retain the AML management team.

Radiance Medical Systems (Irvine, California) has signed a definitive merger agreement with Endologix (also Irvine), a manufacturer of minimally invasive treatments for vascular diseases. Radiance currently owns 4% of Endologix, and under the terms of the merger agreement it will pay Endologix shareholders 75 cents in cash and one share of Radiance stock for each share of Endologix stock for an aggregate cash consideration of approximately $8.4 million and a total of approximately 11.1 million shares of Radiance common stock. The deal also includes possible milestone payments totaling about $5.6 million.

Smith & Nephew (London) has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Oratec Interventions (Menlo Park, California), a manufacturer of radio frequency devices that use controlled thermal energy to treat joint and spine disorders, in a cash deal estimated at $310 million. The net cost to Smith & Nephew after deducting Oratec's cash on hand and short-term investments, which totaled $52 million as of Dec. 31, is expected to be about $258 million. Smith & Nephew said it intends to fund the acquisition from available bank facilities. On completion of the deal, Oratec will become part of Smith & Nephew's Endoscopy Division (Andover, Massachusetts). Smith & Nephew estimated the costs of integration at about $12 million. —Source: The BBI Newsletter