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Zimmer Buys Abbott: Difficult Times Ahead in Spine

Executive Summary

If spine is such a promising market, why did Abbott sell its spine business to Zimmer? The sale is a reflection of the transition period underway in the spine market, a transition born of a combination of the glut of small companies, the disappearance of large buyers, and also, some disappointments in some of spine's most promising technologies, And with that transition has come a perceptible loss of momentum in spine. For now that means depressed valuations on private financings for venture-backed spine companies and less-than-clear exits-an amazing turn around for an industry segment that just a couple of years ago looked strikingly different, certainly not the kind of spine industry Abbott thought it was buying into six years ago.

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