Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA; Lexington, Massachusetts) said it will purchase Everest Healthcare Services (Oak Park, Illinois) for $343 million. The purchase represents a major consolidation in the dialysis sector since FMCNA is the U.S. unit of Fresenius Medical Care (Bad Homburg, Germany), the international leader in dialysis services, and Everest bills itself as the sixth-largest provider of dialysis and other blood treatment services in the U.S. The acquisition is scheduled for completion before year-end. Everest provides chronic dialysis outpatient services to approximately 6,800 patients through 73 facilities in 11 states and to patients in 29 hospitals in four states. Fresenius Medical Care reported 1999 revenues of $3.9 billion and more than $3.1 billion for the first nine months of 2000. Its international network serves 88,000 patients.

GE Medical Systems Information Technologies (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) said it will purchase Critikon (Tampa, Florida), a company developing a variety of patient monitoring systems. The merger will enable a combination of monitoring and hospital information technologies and extends an alliance between the two firms struck in late 1999, that pact calling for joint development and distribution of technologies. Most recently, the alliance enabled integration of GE's Dash 3000 Pro patient monitor with Critikon's DINAMAP noninvasive blood pressure system. The Dash 3000 Pro provides "faster, more reliable blood pressure measurements," according to a statement from GE Medical.

Medisys (London) reported that it has divested its bone wax business to Surgical Specialties (SSC; Burlington, North Carolina) for $1.5 million in cash. Bone wax is used to support the sealing of bones during certain types of surgeries. SSC in 1999 received from Medisys' Futura Medical business a five-year license to make and sell the product worldwide, and the agreement also gave SSC the option to acquire the product for $2.5 million, minus all previous payments. SSC paid an initial $1 million in cash, and royalties were paid over the license agreement, so that the final payment totaled $1.33 million.

Scantek Medical (Denville, New Jersey) said that it has agreed to sell 35% of its Brazilian subsidiary, Scantek Medical do Brasil Ltd., for $2 million to a Brazilian investment group, with the resultant monies to support its BreastCare diagnostic product in Brazil. This includes the construction of a new manufacturing facility, expanding Scantek Medical's operations, marketing and sales.

Siemens Medical Engineering Group (Erlangen, Germany) completed its $700 million stock-for-stock acquisition of Acuson (Mountain View, California) last month. The purchase price was $23 per share of Acuson common stock. Acuson is a major provider of medical ultrasound systems for medical applications, posting 1999 sales in the U.S. of $475.9 million. Siemens Medical Engineering is a supplier of a wide range of products, from imaging systems for diagnostics and therapy products for treatment to electromedicine and hearing instruments, as well as information technology solutions intended to optimize workflow and increase efficiency in hospitals, clinics and doctors' offices.

Sulzer Medica (Winterthur, Switzerland) said it will purchase Core Vent/Paragon Implant (Encino, California) for $100 million, thus doubling its market share in dental implants worldwide and putting it among the top three in this sector. Sulzer said it will merge Paragon into its own dental implant unit, Sulzer Calcitek (Carlsbad, California), to become Sulzer Dental and to be headquartered in Carlsbad. Paragon has about 250 employees and annual sales of about $30 Million. The closing is set for the end of 2000. Steven Hanson, president of the newly created Sulzer Dental, said, "The addition of Paragon's single-stage and tapered screw type implant systems provides opportunities to reach additional market segments. Also in manufacturing and in sales, the two companies complement each other."

Thermo Electron (Waltham, Massachusetts) completed its cash tender offer of $2.15 per share for all outstanding shares of its Trex Medical subsidiary, intended to bring Thermo Electron's ownership in Trex to at least 90%, and then complete a "short-form" merger at the same cash price as the tender offer by year-end. The company has sold the U.S. operations of Trex Medical and said it is continuing discussions with potential buyers for the remaining assets.

Trek Diagnostic Systems (Westlake, Ohio) has acquired the assets of Combact Diagnostic Systems (Rockville, Maryland), developers of the FDA-cleared Cellenium automated bacterial urine screening system. Terms were not disclosed. Cellenium is an automated system combining selective fluorescence staining with computerized video image analysis to perform rapid urine screening for bacteria. Michael Burke, Trek president and CEO, said the acquisition "lets us add rapid urine screening to our existing ESP Culture System II and Sensititre diagnostic product lines." In addition to Cellenium, Trek has acquired 33 technical and design patents and eight trademark applications as part of Combact's assets.

Zmed (Boston, Massachusetts) has purchased the Linac Scalpel Stereotactic Radiosurgery System and related assets from Medtronic Surgical Navigation Technologies. Details of the deal were not disclosed. The Linac Scalpel System joins ePiphany iSolutions in Zmed's portfolio of medical imaging and therapeutic software products.