Workforce slashed in AorTech clear-out
Tuesday 07 January 2003
AorTech International, a maker of heart valves and monitors, is to dispose of its two main businesses after a string of technological and business disasters.
The one-time biotech star said yesterday it will slash staffing levels and focus on its one last attractive technology, developing novel plastics that can be used to replace tissues inside the human body.
Bill Strachan, who was brought in as chief executive after a boardroom clearout last July, said the change in direction was needed because sales of Truccoms, a device to monitor heart rates during surgery, had been held back by technical glitches.
In November he had proclaimed the technology "one of AorTech's value propositions", but yesterday Mr Strachan said the company was reluctantly ending development and marketing spending and would instead try to sell the business.
"We became more and more disappointed by the revenue streams, and by the amounts needed to promote it, develop it and understand it," he said. "If we are honest the product is at a development stage rather than being a ready-made offering to anaesthetists and we put it on the market too soon. We could not keep pouring good money after bad."
The company is also selling its loss-making business manufacturing artificial heart valves, which has failed to take more than 1 per cent of the market. It is in advanced talks with a bidder. Mr Strachan said the company would be making head office job cuts and would begin consultation on where the redundancies would fall. The company is keen to reduce the rate at which it is burning through its cash pile, currently estimated at £7m.
AorTech shares were worth more than 1,000p each at the peak of the technology and biotech bubbles in 2000, but were yesterday down 0.25p to 8.25p. The company is now worth little more than £3m, and moved down to the junior AIM stock market at the end of 2002.
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
Earthworms rain down from skies over Norway, puzzling scientists
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a white stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Russian warships in English Channel 'to conduct anti-aircraft and anti-submarine military drills'
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...
£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...
£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...