Advanced Neuromodulation Systems (ANS; Dallas, Texas) said it has agreed to acquire Hi-tronics Designs (HDI; Budd Lake, New Jersey), a privately held contract developer and original equipment manufacturer of electro-mechanical medical devices. ANS will acquire all of HDI's outstanding stock in exchange for 1.1 million shares of ANS common stock. Chris Chavez, president and chief executive officer of ANS, said the acquisition "provides outstanding research and development resources which should greatly enhance our ability to accelerate new products to market. At the same time, it will strengthen and expand our capabilities as an OEM contract developer and supplier of advanced electro-mechanical medical devices." He added that HDI has developed "cutting-edge electro-mechanical devices in various clinical applications, including cardiology, neurology and orthopedics." ANS said the acquisition is expected to be accretive to earnings on a fully diluted basis in calendar 2001. HDI's founders, Anthony Varrichio and William Winstrom, who prior to founding HDI held management posts at Intermedics and Biomet, will continue in their current management positions. HDI has about 100 employees. Advanced Neuromodulation Systems makes implantable systems used to manage chronic intractable pain and other disorders of the central nervous system.

Avreo, formerly Riptide Technologies (Palo Alto, California), said it has merged with Image Medical (also Palo Alto), a provider of image management systems for radiology with PracticeBuilder, its Internet-based PACS product. The announcement came while the company was attending last month's Radiological Society of North America conference in Chicago, Illinois. "The merger with Image Medical provides many synergies," said Gene Thomas, Avreo CEO. "Not only does this give us a best-of-breed Internet-based diagnostic study tool, but it also extends the functionality of our current product offering, ARIIS [Advanced Radiology Integrated Information Solution]. In addition, it strengthens our management team and board of directors." Sam Willcoxon, CEO of Image Medical, will join Avreo as president and COO. Ayreo will integrate PracticeBuilder into the ARIIS product.

Coherent (Santa Clara, California) said it has acquired Crystal Associates (CAI; East Hanover, New Jersey) in a cash transaction. Crystal Associates manufactures exotic crystals used in a wide variety of photonics applications and will be part of Coherent's Photonics Group. "Crystal Associates is a key addition to the Coherent organization since crystals are enabling media for current and future generations of photonic devices, especially lasers," said Bernard Couillaud, Coherent CEO and president. He said Coherent has retained the entire workforce at Crystal Associates, including Gabe Loiacono and John Zola, the two co-founders. CAI's business will continue to be operated out of its East Hanover facility.

Luxtec (Worcester, Massachusetts) said it has entered into a definitive agreement to merge PrimeSource Surgical (Tucson, Arizona) with a wholly-owned subsidiary of Luxtec. Upon completion of the merger, current PrimeSource equity holders will hold enough shares of Luxtec capital stock to exercise control over Luxtec. The merger agreement provides that each share of PrimeSource common stock will be converted into the right to receive .744183 shares of Luxtec common stock, and each share of PrimeSource preferred stock will be converted into the right to receive Luxtec preferred stock convertible into .744183 shares of Luxtec common stock.

Packard Bioscience (Meriden, Connecticut) has agreed to sell Canberra Industries (also Meriden) to Cogema (Velizy Cedex, France) in a deal valued at about $170 million. Packard said the net proceeds will be used for R&D, general working capital and to pay down its debt. Christian Petit, president and CEO of Cogema's nuclear measurements business unit, will be chairman and CEO of the new company. Cogema said it plans to retain Canberra's Meriden headquarters.

Spacelabs Medical (Redmond, Washington) was taking a "wait and see" attitude toward a late-November takeover bid by Cardiac Science (Irvine, California), and said its board will act "in the best interests of Spacelabs shareholders." In a statement, Spacelabs said it had previously engaged UBS Warburg LLC to assist in evaluating Spacelabs' strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value and also said that it had no comment on Cardiac Science's proposal to acquire Spacelabs. Spacelabs is a provider of integrated health care information systems and instrumentation, with a strategic focus on wireless, telemedicine and Internet solutions for health care.

Sulzer Medica USA Holding (Houston, Texas) launched its previously announced offer to purchase up to 50% of the interests of beneficiaries in Capital Partners II Ltd. Liquidating Trust for about $30 million. Capital Partners owns a majority of the common stock of Tutogen Medical (Clifton, New Jersey), with which Sulzer Medica has strategic agreements on the distribution and marketing of bone tissue for spinal and dental applications. Tutogen makes bio-implants and medical devices for tissue and bone repair and other surgical needs. The board of trustees of the trust has unanimously approved the agreement and initialized the tender offer, which was scheduled to remain open through Dec. 26.