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Exit, Pursued By a Bear

Executive Summary

The buzz of Phoenix '99: In the teeth of their own bear market, device companies are running for any exit they can find because, until recently, the favored exit strategies for small, private medical device companies have been fairly traditional--going public and/or being acquired by a larger firm. But given the dismal performance of small cap device companies recently, the public markets virtually closed down for product companies, leaving only the M&A route. Dealmaking has become more viable as big companies increasingly look to small ones for new products, while small firms gain access to distribution channels, creating a greater co-dependency between the two. In 1999, however, even the M&A door has slammed shut, leaving small companies looking for new financing and business models to deal with the current lack of exit options.

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