Stryker Takes Out Wright Medical Group for $5.4 Billion

It’s a deal that will likely spawn more deals. Medical device giant Stryker Corporation (NYSE: SYK), with a market cap of $76.4 billion, is acquiring its smaller rival, Wright Medical Group N.V. (NASDAQ: WMGI), with a market cap of $2.8 billion.

Stryker will pay $30.75 per share, for a total equity value of approximately $4.0 billion, and a total enterprise value of approximately $5.4 billion, including debt.

The deal brings together two highly complementary product portfolios. Wright Medical is a recognized leader in the upper extremities (shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand), lower extremities (foot and ankle) and biologics markets, which are among the fastest growing segments in orthopedics.

Wright Medical’s leading upper extremity portfolio and advanced preoperative planning technology will significantly add to Stryker’s strengths in orthopedics (hips and knees), medsurg and neurotechnology and spine.

The target’s lower extremity and biologics will complement Stryker’s portfolio, but that’s where some analysts suggest the deal could run into antitrust issues with the Federal Trade Commission. Needham’s Mike Matson points to the overlap of foot and ankle business as a potential problem. Wells Fargo’s Larry Biegelsen expects Stryker will have to divest its STAR ankle business, since Wright has a 70% share in the total ankle replacement market.

Wright Medical was firmly based in the United States, outside Memphis, Tennessee, until October 2014, when it announced a $3.3 billion acquisition of Tornier N.V. (then NASDAQ: TRNX), a medical device maker based in Amsterdam. Despite headwinds imposed by the U.S. Treasury Department to discourage American companies from re-domiciling abroard to avoid higher corporate tax rates, Wright Medical went ahead with the deal.

International markets have been key for Stryker lately. In the company’s recent third quarter 2019 earnings call, Stryker announced double-digit organic growth in Europe, Japan and Canada, with emerging markets also growing in strong double digits.

Stryker CEO Kevin Lobo noted on the October 29 call that, “[W]e expect international to be a source of high growth for many years to come. Our conviction stems from several factors, includign out lower relative market shares, investments in our Trans-Atlantic operating model and the benefits from strengthened leadership in emerging markets.” Seven days later, he could have simply said, “Buying Wright Medical Group will make it happen.”

This deal is expected to close in the second half of 2020. We’ll see what other deals precede the closing.

 

 

 

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