Gyrus unveils $500m US surgery deal

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The Independent Online

Gyrus, the keyhole surgery specialist, is to double in size with the $500m (£275m) acquisition of a US company making gynaecological instruments.

Gyrus, the keyhole surgery specialist, is to double in size with the $500m (£275m) acquisition of a US company making gynaecological instruments.

The deal makes Cardiff-based Gyrus one of the top three players in its areas of specialist surgery and brings it the opportunity to move into the much bigger market for general surgery.

The news was well-received in the City, which absorbed a £116m share placing at 250p to help fund the cash deal, and sent Gyrus shares up 20p to 283p.

Gyrus is buying ACMI, a Massachusetts-based maker of keyhole surgery instruments. The deal brings together the UK company's high-frequency tissue-cutting and sealing technology with ACMI's new digital endoscope, a camera that can be threaded into the human body.

Brian Steer, Gyrus's chairman, said: "This is a 'see and treat' marriage. Our products can treat conditions, theirs allow surgeons to see."

The companies have been flirting with each other for five years, since ACMI tried to win a distribution licence for Gyrus technology in the US. In the event, Gyrus decided to market many of its products itself.

ACMI is being sold by a private equity consortium led by Fox Paine, which bought the company in 1999 as a white-knight bidder after one of the US's longest-running hostile takeover sagas. ACMI can trace its history to 1908 and is considered a pioneer of endoscopy, or keyhole surgery.

Gyrus said the combined group would have 1,400 employees and would make annual cost savings of £12m after a three-year restructuring costing £18m.

Liz Klein, an analyst at Baird, said: "The acquisition allows Gyrus to compete against major players with a larger sales force ... and gives it better access to the general surgery markets."

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