Hawkins: Medtronic to be 'opportunistic' in seeking acquisitions

Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) is focusing on acquisitions to fill in gaps in its business. And, according to Chairman and CEO Bill Hawkins, the company will be "opportunistic" in seeking acquisitions of up to $1 billion to restore sales growth, Bloomberg reports.

"If we see something that's a good strategic fit, we have the ability to act on it," Hawkins tells Bloomberg. "We're not in a reactive mode, like we have to go out and do more acquisitions now." He declined to say what areas the company is looking into.

Late last month, Medtronic said it expected sales growth of 2 percent to 5 percent in 2011 on a constant currency basis--this was down from the 5 percent to 8 percent the devicemaker predicted in June, MSNBC notes. Company executives partly blamed reduced healthcare spending for the weaker prospects. And that news spooked investors, sending the device company's stock down as much as 10 percent.

"About two-thirds of Medtronic's products are in markets that aren't growing much," Sean Lavin, an analyst at Lazard Capital Markets, tells Bloomberg. "They say their goal is growth, and if they are going to grow then they really need to do acquisitions."

Medtronic has announced or completed nine acquisitions since January 2009, Bloomberg notes. Just last month, the company expanded its biologics division with a $123 million deal to purchase Osteotech.

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- see the MSNBC report