Biomet swings to another strong quarter as M&A talk cools

Indiana orthopedics giant Biomet kept up its promising pace last quarter, posting year-over-year leaps in sales and income despite long-running sluggishness in its banner markets.

In the second quarter of Biomet's fiscal year, the company boosted revenue by 4.5% to $825.7 million and turned a $4.9 million profit, well ahead of the $66.2 million net loss it took in the same period the prior year. Most promising, Biomet's knee replacement business jumped to $264 million, a 6.6% jump powered by an 8.4% increase in U.S. sales, and the company notched gains in its hips, extremities and dental units.

Meanwhile, rumors of Biomet's potential as an M&A target have largely gone cold. Over the summer, word on the street was that the devicemaker's private equity owners were considering dual-track exit strategy, in which they would put Biomet up for sale while filing for an IPO, eventually picking whichever path would give them the biggest payday. Since then, the ownership group--KKR, Blackstone, TPG Capital and Goldman Sachs--hasn't moved an inch.

Instead, Biomet has made some M&A waves of its own. After briefly considering spinning off its dental business last year, the company went the other direction and spent about $150 million on Colorado spinal startup Lanx in October. Biomet currently gets only about an 8th of its revenue from spine devices, and CEO Jeffrey Binder said the deal gives his company a chance to better compete in a growing space.

Last quarter, Biomet's spinal business ticked up 2.3% to $104.9 million, while the hip unit grew 2.3% to $167.7 million and its sports, extremities and trauma segment increased 5.3% to $160.3 million.

- read Biomet's results

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