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New Ceramic Approval Boosts Wright Medical

Executive Summary

Despite talk of minimally-invasive techniques and biologicals, the hottest topic at this year's American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons' meeting may very well have been surface coatings. The approval, announced days before the AAOS, of a new ceramic joint could have a big impact on Wright Medical.

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Is Wright Medical Back on Track?

Wright Medical hasn’t enjoyed the smoothest ride over the past 15 years, a stretch that included a spin-out, debt problems, and a buyout, as well as an IPO. All the while, though, the company has proven to be an innovator in the large joints industries and now—under new CEO Gary Henley—it is establishing itself as a force in the extremities and biomaterials markets.

Is Wright Medical Back on Track?

Wright Medical hasn’t enjoyed the smoothest ride over the past 15 years, a stretch that included a spin-out, debt problems, and a buyout, as well as an IPO. All the while, though, the company has proven to be an innovator in the large joints industries and now—under new CEO Gary Henley—it is establishing itself as a force in the extremities and biomaterials markets.

Building Platforms in Orthopedics

Consolidation has created a widening gulf between small start-ups with innovative technology and large multi-faceted companies that control sales and distribution channels, making life difficult for mid-sized companies caught in the middle. Nowhere is this more true than in orthopedic devices. Now, some investors are finding opportunities in mid-sized companies by using them as platforms to build more substantial plays. The goal isn't market leadership, but value creation for shareholders, which can be done on a more modest scale.

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