Medtronic completes acquisition of Visualase


Medtronic has announced that it has completed the acquisition of Visualase, a privately held company based in Houston, USA, that develops and markets an FDA-approved MRI-guided laser and image guided system for minimally invasive neurosurgeries, including surgical thermal ablation.

Medtronic will add Visualase’s MRI-guided laser ablation system to its portfolio of therapies for treating neurological conditions within its Surgical Technologies business and will integrate the technology into its broader neuroscience offerings. The acquisition of Visualase is another example of Medtronic’s ongoing investment in technology and commitment to innovation across the entire surgical care continuum as the company strives to become the partner of choice for neurosurgeons and neuroscience centres around the world.

“We are excited about this opportunity to add Visualase’s complementary technology and expertise to our neurosurgical solutions portfolio, which includes intra-operative imaging, surgical navigation, powered instruments and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) management,” says Mark Fletcher, senior vice president and president, Medtronic Surgical Technologies. “The Visualase laser ablation technology gives neurosurgeons a minimally invasive option to precisely target and treat small areas of tissues. We are the recognised leader in high technology solutions for specialties such as neurosurgery, spinal surgery and orthopaedics. This acquisition broadens our strong and growing portfolio of innovative surgical products and represents entries into new areas such as surgical thermal ablation.”

“The transaction with Medtronic is critical to ensure more patients have access to our beneficial technology,” says William Hoffman, chief executive officer of Visualase.  “We are proud of the MRI-guided laser ablation technology and other products we have developed and their impact on the well-being of patients. Medtronic is clearly committed to the area of minimally invasive neurosurgery and we look forward to working as a team to innovate in this area.”

The all-cash transaction of up to US$105 million includes an initial payment of US$70 million plus additional payments of up to US$35 million which are contingent upon the achievement of specific milestones. Medtronic had previously invested in Visualase and held an ownership stake in the company prior to completion of the acquisition. Net of this ownership stake, the initial payment is approximately US$64 million. Medtronic expects the net impact from this transaction to be neutral to fiscal year 2015 earnings and accretive thereafter, and for this transaction to be consistent with the company’s disciplined focus on long-term returns.