* Oracle Investment says new owner could help spur growth
* Thoratec shares rise 3.5 percent in after-hours trade
Dec 5 A long-time investor in shares of
Thoratec Corp is urging the cardiac device maker to
put itself up for sale.
Oracle Investment Management Inc of Greenwich, Connecticut,
said it has sent a letter to Thoratec directors urging the
board to hire an investment bank to conduct an auction to find
an acquirer for the company.
Oracle Investment said it believes Thoratec, a maker of
left ventricular assist devices that help the heart circulate
blood in heart failure patients, will be unable to maximize
shareholder value as an independent public company.
Oracle Investment, which owns about 5 percent of Thoratec's
shares, said it expects the LVAD market to become one of the
fastest-growing and largest in the medical device field, with a
potential to generate $5 billion to $10 billion in sales.
"Although Thoratec management initiated development of the
LVAD market, recent market growth has been unsatisfactory and
Thoratec has not meaningfully expanded its market share in many
of the most promising European markets," Oracle Investment said
in the letter, signed by its president, Larry Feinberg.
"It is now clear that the market clout, deep capital
resources, and relevant experience of a larger and more tenured
medtech company is required to accelerate the penetration of
this burgeoning market opportunity."
Thoratec, based in Pleasanton, California, could not be
reached immediately for comment.
Thoratec last month cut its full-year sales forecast,
sending its shares down sharply.
The company competes against HeartWare International Inc in the heart pump market.
Thoratec shares rose 3.5 percent to $31.50 in extended