MedCath (Charlotte, North Carolina) said it acquired a majority ownership interest in the Heart Hospital of New Mexico (Albuquerque, Mexico). The 55-bed hospital opened in October 1999 with a shared ownership structure that included MedCath, St. Joseph Healthcare System (SJHS) and two physician groups. Before completing the acquisition, MedCath owned 24%, SJHS owned 35% and the physician groups owned a combined 41%. In the acquisition, MedCath purchased 32% of the 35% interest held by SJHS and 13% of the 41% interest held by the physician partners, and now holds 69% of the ownership interest in the venture. MedCath develops, owns and operates hospitals in partnership with cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons.

NMT Medical (Boston, Massachusetts) said it has signed an agreement to sell assets comprising the company's vena cava filter business to C.R. Bard (Murray Hill, New Jersey). In exchange for these assets, NMT will receive $27 million in up-front cash payments plus up to $7 million tied to certain NMT performance and delivery milestones. In addition to these cash payments, NMT will receive ongoing royalty payments from Bard on sales of vena cava filter products and will continue to manufacture the product for an interim period of time. The company expects the transaction to close in 4Q01. The agreement is subject to customary closing conditions and may also be terminated by C.R. Bard in the event that the pending acquisition of C.R. Bard by Tyco International (Pembroke, Bermuda) closes before the NMT-Bard transaction. NMT said it intends to use proceeds of the sale to eliminate the current subordinated note payable, fund its continued clinical and commercial development of its patented CardioSeal cardiac septal repair implant technology, and for general corporate purposes.

Thermo Electron (Waltham, Massachusetts) said its board of directors approved the spin-off of the company's wholly owned Viasys Healthcare (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) subsidiary as a dividend to Thermo Electron shareholders. Thermo Electron said it expects to distribute approximately .1428 shares of Viasys Healthcare common stock for each share of Thermo Electron common stock held, with the final ratio to be based on the actual number of Thermo Electron shares outstanding on the Nov. 7 record date. Viasys Healthcare makes a variety of medical devices, instruments and specialty products and is developing products to address solutions for the diagnosis and treatment of asthma, stroke rehabilitation, advanced respiratory distress syndrome and systems used in the critical care and surgical arenas.

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