November 1, 2019 / 5:05 PM / 19 days ago

Berkshire's Marmon unit buys medical device provider from Pritzker company

Nov 1 (Reuters) - Marmon Holdings Inc, a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc, on Friday said it bought a 60% stake in Colson Medical Cos, regaining control of a medical device maker it sold 17 years ago to wealthy Chicago businessman Robert Pritzker.

Terms of the purchase from Colson Associates Inc were not disclosed. Marmon, a provider of industrial parts and services, said it will buy the rest of Colson Medical within five years.

Pritzker, who co-founded Marmon in 1953, founded Colson Associates after retiring as Marmon’s chief executive in 2002. He died in 2011.

The transaction will help Buffett deploy some of his Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate’s recent $122.4 billion hoard of cash and equivalents. Berkshire will update investors on its cash holdings on Saturday when it reports third-quarter results.

Colson Medical sells plates, screws and precision tools for orthopedic surgery through Acumed and five other businesses. It employs more than 1,300 people in the United States, China, Germany, Great Britain and Spain.

“The specialty medical device market is an attractive growth opportunity and the Colson businesses are highly regarded,” Buffett said in a statement. “Berkshire and Marmon will provide a home where these businesses can continue to flourish.”

Pritzker’s daughters, Karen and Linda Pritzker, said in a joint statement: “Our dad would be pleased to know that Colson Medical is going back home.”

Marmon generated $8.2 billion of revenue in 2018, and recently employed more than 20,300 people.

Berkshire acquired a roughly 64% stake in Marmon from the Pritzker family for $4.5 billion in 2008. It gained full control by the end of 2013 after spending $4.4 billion more.

Chris Smith, Colson Medical’s president, will oversee the acquired businesses at Marmon. The companies were not immediately available for additional comment. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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