Symmetry to buy instruments biz of J&J unit for $165M

Symmetry Medical ($SMA) has agreed to buy the surgical instruments business of Codman & Shurtleff, a unit of Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), for $165 million in cash.

The transaction includes Codman's reusable stainless steel and titanium surgical hand-held instruments and retractor systems, sterile disposable surgical products and sterilization containers. These products are typically used in the surgical specialties of spine, general/OB-GYN, microsurgery/neurosurgery, orthopedics, laparoscopy, cardiovascular, thoracic and general surgery.

The surgical instruments line will be combined with Symmetry's hospital direct business, Specialty Surgical Instrumentation. The combined business will be re-named Symmetry Surgical and based in Nashville, TN.

"The acquisition achieves several strategic objectives for Symmetry, including diversification of our revenue base with higher margin, intellectual property-backed products that generate strong cash flow," Thomas Sullivan, president and CEO of Symmetry Medical, said in a statement. "The acquired assets include a strategic capability in instrument procurement and add scale and a robust international presence to our hospital direct business. When combined with SSi as Symmetry Surgical, they will allow us to expand our global geographic footprint with products that are complementary to our core OEM supplier business."

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, subject to customary closing conditions and any necessary government approvals.

- see the Symmetry statement

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