Smith & Nephew to Form Biologics Joint Venture with Essex Woodlands
Smith & Nephew plc (LSE: SN, NYSE: SNN), the global medical technology business, announces today that it has, through its subsidiaries (“Smith & Nephew”), agreed to form a joint venture with Essex Woodlands, a specialist healthcare growth equity and venture capital firm, to further develop its Biologics and Clinical Therapies division. The transaction is subject to obtaining required regulatory approvals and satisfaction of other customary conditions.
The new entity, called Bioventus LLC (“Bioventus”), will be 51% owned by Essex Woodlands and 49% by Smith & Nephew. In addition to this shareholding, Smith & Nephew will receive approximately $98 million cash, which will be used to pay down debt, and a $160 million 5-year note from Bioventus. Smith & Nephew will transfer the vast majority of its US Biologics team and Clinical Therapies business to Bioventus and, for the time being, Smith & Nephew will continue to distribute Clinical Therapies products outside of the US.
Commenting on the transaction, Olivier Bohuon, Chief Executive Officer of Smith & Nephew, said: “In a single act we have given our existing Biologics business the resources to address longer-term development projects, retained access to the exciting area of orthobiologics, realised value for reinvestment in nearer-term opportunities, and freed up management resource to focus on driving efficiencies in established markets. Essex Woodlands are strong partners and the joint venture will benefit from their significant expertise in developing healthcare businesses.”
Bioventus will continue to market its current portfolio of products, including the EXOGEN◊ Ultrasound Bone Healing System and joint fluid therapy, and will seek to add further offerings. Smith & Nephew and Essex Woodlands are committed to investing a significant proportion of Bioventus’ cash flow into R&D over the next five years. The business will continue to be headquartered in Durham, North Carolina and the existing management team, led by its current President, Mark Augusti, will transfer to Bioventus. Smith & Nephew will retain its research facility at York, UK.
Marty Sutter, Founding Partner and Managing Director of Essex Woodlands said, “We see tremendous growth potential with this new venture as more patients discover how active products can help heal and treat joint and bone ailments without invasive surgery. Smith & Nephew has built an excellent business and we are excited about the prospect of working with the management team on the next phase of growth as it brings more active therapeutic products to market.”
In 2010 Smith & Nephew’s Biologics and Clinical Therapies business generated a trading profit of $44 million on revenues of $223 million (of which $33 million came from sales outside of the US) and as at 1 October 2011 had unaudited gross assets of $121 million. The transaction is expected to be completed in the next few months and will be modestly earnings dilutive.
Ondra Partners is serving as financial advisor, and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is serving as legal advisor, to Smith & Nephew on the transaction.
About Smith & Nephew
Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology business with global leadership positions in Orthopaedic Reconstruction, Advanced Wound Management, Sports Medicine, Trauma and Clinical Therapies. The Company has distribution channels, purchasing agents and buying entities in over 90 countries worldwide. Annual sales in 2010 were nearly $4.0 billion.
Smith & Nephew is dedicated to helping improve people’s lives. The Company prides itself on the strength of its relationships with its surgeons and professional healthcare customers, with whom its name is synonymous with high standards of performance, innovation and trust.
About Essex Woodlands
With $2.5 billion under management, Essex Woodlands is one of the largest and oldest growth equity and venture capital firms pursuing investments in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, health care services, and health information technology. Since its founding in 1985, Essex Woodlands has maintained its singular commitment to the health care industry and has been involved in the founding, investing, and/or the management of over 120 health care companies ranging across all sectors, stages and geography. The team is comprised of 25 senior investment professionals with offices in Palo Alto, Houston, New York and London. For more information, please see www.ewhv.com.
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