UPDATE 2-Stryker buys Mako Surgical to gain robot surgery skills

Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:40am EDT

* Stryker to pay $30/Mako share, 86 pct premium to last close

* Deal to hurt Stryker's adj EPS by $0.10-$0.12/shr

By Esha Dey

Sept 25 (Reuters) - Medical device maker Stryker Corp will buy smaller peer Mako Surgical Corp for about $1.65 billion to gain access to Mako's technology for robot-assisted orthopedic surgery.

Mako shares jumped 83 percent at $29.57 in morning trade, just shy of the offer price Of $30 per share.

Analysts said that while the premium was hefty, the deal can give Stryker a competitive advantage over rival makers of orthopedic implants and may trigger a wave of takeovers in the medical technology companies.

Mako, founded in 2004, makes orthopedic surgical systems and knee and hip implants for treating early to mid-stage osteoarthritis. Its Rio surgical system includes a robotic arm that helps surgeons with precise insertion of implants.

The deal can help Stryker to use its own implants with Mako's surgical system, boosting the system's adoption as well as defend itself against newer orthopedic products made by competitors, analysts said.

Shares in Stryker, which has previously had several recalls for its hip implants, fell 2 percent to $69.25 on the New York Stock Exchange.

News of the deal sent the shares of another robotic surgical device maker, Intuitive Surgical Inc, up 4 percent on the Nasdaq.

"The take-out price seems high, but strategically it makes a lot of sense," BMO Capital Markets analyst Joanne Wuensch wrote in a note.

"We anticipate that the transaction will drive the other M&A medtech targets' stock prices higher, as the musical chairs move in consolidation has begun."

Intuitive makes the da Vinci surgical system - a minimally invasive system that also includes robotic arms that can be controlled by the surgeon.

INSURANCE PRESSURE

Medical device makers have seen demand soften over the past few years as a slowing economy and insurance reimbursement cuts made patients delay discretionary procedures.

However, as the economy stabilizes and President Obama's new healthcare law attempts to roll out insurance cover to all Americans, the industry is expected to rebound.

This is the second deal this year for Stryker. It acquired Hong Kong-based orthopedic device firm Trauson Holdings Co Ltd for $764 million in March.

Stryker, which has a market capitalization of $27 billion, makes devices related to orthopedics, spine and endoscopy as well as surgical instruments and implants. It also makes software to help surgeons.

"The acquisition of Mako combined with Stryker's strong history in joint reconstruction, capital equipment and surgical instruments will help further advance the growth of robotic assisted surgery," Stryker CEO Kevin Lobo said in a statement.

The deal is expected to cut Stryker's adjusted earnings per share, excluding acquisition and integration-related charges, by about 10 cents to 12 cents in the first full year.

J.P. Morgan was financial adviser to Mako. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Foley & Lardner LLP were legal advisers.

Stryker was advised by Citigroup, while Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as legal counsel.

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