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Teleflex: Hospital Supply's Best Kept Secret

Executive Summary

The name Teleflex barely registers among most device executives and hospital customers, but the company's individual brands, Weck, Pilling, and Rusch, are well-known. Teleflex's greatest challenge lies in finding a middle ground between its niche approach, built on the strong brands of its individual businesses, and the resources available from a larger, coordinated corporate effort. It's an issue of identity: can Teleflex ever be anything other than a collection of strong brands?

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Viking Systems: Implementing a Public Start-Up Model

A year ago, Viking Systems Inc. reinvented itself based on the belief that it has found a way to take advantage of the public model to acquire small medical device companies and provide incentives to their entrepreneurial founders to work towards the greater good of an integrated company. Viking will use combinations of stock, cash, and royalties tied to the future performance of products to acquire companies, products or services for the surgical suite that have strong intellectual property and revenues in the $500,000 to $10 million range. The idea is to take advantage of the medical device industry's fragmentation, both in terms of the large number of one-product companies that exist, and the requirement, in Viking's new target market-minimally invasive surgery--for numerous parts and pieces found within different types of companies. Its first acquisition was the visualization business of Vista Medical Technologies.

Viking Systems: Implementing a Public Start-Up Model

A year ago, Viking Systems Inc. reinvented itself based on the belief that it has found a way to take advantage of the public model to acquire small medical device companies and provide incentives to their entrepreneurial founders to work towards the greater good of an integrated company. Viking will use combinations of stock, cash, and royalties tied to the future performance of products to acquire companies, products or services for the surgical suite that have strong intellectual property and revenues in the $500,000 to $10 million range. The idea is to take advantage of the medical device industry's fragmentation, both in terms of the large number of one-product companies that exist, and the requirement, in Viking's new target market-minimally invasive surgery--for numerous parts and pieces found within different types of companies. Its first acquisition was the visualization business of Vista Medical Technologies.

In Hospital Supply, Signs of an M&A Renaissance?

Cardinal Health's acquisition of IV-pump specialist Alaris Medical Systems certainly came as no surprise. The company had been reportedly on the blocks for years. But the fact that Alaris fetched few takers was, certainly on some level, a reflection of the depressed prospects for hospital supply companies and, in turn, for M&A activity. Joining forces with Cardinal brings Alaris into the broader context of a bundled offering, and in the process, also reaffirms the value inherent in today's hospital supply marketplace. Teleflex's acquisition of Hudson Respiratory Care for $460 million marks a potentially more interesting deal. Teleflex officials have been looking for years for new properties to acquire, as part of a broader effort to build up and around their core businesses in wound closure and surgical instruments. The two deals taken together--Cardinal's acquisition of Alaris and Teleflex's of Hudson--suggest that deal-making in hospital supply is far from dead and may, in the future, be done from a business-building, rather than a business-fleeing posture.

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