CIBA Vision (Duluth, Georgia), the eye care unit of Novartis AG (Basel, Switzerland), reported completing the Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period for purchase of Wesley Jessen Visioncare (Des Plaines, Illinois). CIBA reported its intention to acquire all outstanding shares of Wesley Jessen for $38.50 per share, or a total of approximately $785 million, on May 30. Upon completion of the acquisition, the combined company will be the world's second-largest contact lens company. CIBA Vision and Wesley Jessen had combined pro forma sales of $1.4 billion in 1999.
Denver Biomedical (Golden, Colorado) said that a management group has purchased the company, previously a wholly owned subsidiary of Lifestream International (Houston, Texas). With the purchase, the company will be renamed Denver BioMaterials. Bonnie Vivian, former vice president of Denver BioMedical, and now president and CEO of Denver BioMaterials, said, "We were concerned when Surgimedics took us over in 1995, and when Lifestream bought Surgimedics in 1999. As a subsidiary our destiny was uncertain, so we reclaimed the right to chart our own future by reinvesting in ourselves." Denver Biomedical's flagship product is the Pleurx Pleural Catheter System used to treat pleural effusion, or fluid build-up around the lungs, a condition affecting lung and breast cancer patients.
DiaSys (New York), a maker of medical laboratory equipment, announced it has acquired all of the outstanding capital stock of Intersep Ltd., a UK-based manufacturer of consumable laboratory products, reagents and test kits. DiaSys has purchased Intersep's capital stock for an undisclosed amount of cash, plus a number of DiaSys common shares equal to approximately seven times Intersep's EBITDA over a specified measuring period. DiaSys will operate Intersep as a wholly owned subsidiary and will consolidate all European manufacturing, sales and service operations under the subsidiary's managing director, Paul Reardon.
Epitope (Beaverton, Oregon) reported completing its merger with STC Technologies (STC; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) in a $260 million, all-stock deal, thus creating OraSure Technologies, a point-of-care medical diagnostics company specializing in oral fluid diagnostics. Listing of Epitope common stock has been replaced with OraSure Technologies' common stock on the Nasdaq, with its ticker symbol to be OSUR. Robert Thompson, CEO of Epitope and CEO of the new firm, said that, with the merger, "we maximize our intellectual capital, improve technology platforms, and extend the reach of oral fluid testing to benefit millions." President and COO for OraSure will be Michael Gausling, who has been chairman, CEO and president of STC and was a co-founder of that company. Corporate headquarters for OraSure will be in Bethlehem, beginning January 2001.
Immersion (San Jose, California), a developer of sensory interaction technology, said it completed its purchase of its strategic partner, HT Medical Systems (Gaithersburg, Maryland). HT makes products that replicate hands-on medical procedures to simulate training environments. Immersion's patented TouchSense technologies enable computer peripherals to deliver tactile sensations corresponding to on-screen events. HT shareholders received approximately 1.335 million shares of Immersion stock, with Immersion accounting for the acquisition as a pooling of interests. HT will continue operations in Maryland as a wholly owned subsidiary of Immersion.
Roche (Basel Switzerland) agreed to purchase up to 5 million shares of TriPath Imaging (Burlington, North Carolina) stock to increase its stake in that company from 10% to 34%. Roche currently owns 3 million shares of TriPath's outstanding stock. Roche said it will acquire the additional 5 million shares over a 36-month period at exercise prices ranging from $10 to $15 per share, or more than $50 million. TriPath's Autocyte PREP System is an automated thin-layer cytology sample preparation technology that produces specimen slides with a homogeneous, thin-layer of cervical cells, and is one of only two sample preparation systems approved by the FDA as a replacement for the conventional Pap smear. AutoPap uses proprietary technology to distinguish between normal Pap smears and those that have the highest likelihood of abnormality.
Sunrise Medical (Carlsbad, California) sold its Parker Bath subsidiary (New Milton, Hampshire, UK) to Getinge Industrier AB of Sweden. Its subsidiaries include Arjo, with Arjo's worldwide distribution network now to sell the Parker products. Sunrise makes medical products and assistive technology devices distributed in more than 100 countries.
In a stock swap valued at about $180 million, Tyco (Bermuda) will acquire InnerDyne (Sunnyvale, California), with InnerDyne stockholders to receive a fraction of a Tyco share valued at $7.50 per share for each share of InnerDyne. InnerDyne makes minimally invasive surgical access products that incorporate the company's radial dilation technology, including its patented Step expandable needle system. Radial dilation provides surgical access through expansion of small openings using progressively larger blunt instruments. Tyco Chairman and CEO L. Dennis Kozlowski cited InnerDyne's radial dilation system as key to expanding the offerings of U.S. Surgical, a Tyco Healthcare unit.