Boston Scientific nixes $230M acquisition of stent maker M.I.Tech, citing regulatory roadblocks

Almost a year after announcing its intention to acquire a majority stake in M.I.Tech, the South Korean medtech responsible for a portfolio of gastrointestinal and airway stents, Boston Scientific is walking away from the deal.

In a statement sent to Fierce Medtech on Thursday, Boston Scientific said the agreement "required global regulatory approvals that we were not able to obtain in some countries."

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission revealed itself as one of the regulators that had put up roadblocks on Boston Scientific’s path to purchasing M.I.Tech. In an agency statement released Wednesday, Holly Vedova, director of the FTC’s competition bureau, said, “I am pleased that Boston Scientific and M.I.Tech have abandoned their proposed transaction in response to investigations by FTC staff and our overseas enforcement partners. The FTC will not hesitate to take action in enforcing the antitrust laws to protect patients and doctors.”

The original plan saw Boston Scientific offering up 14,500 South Korean won per M.I.Tech share for a total bid of 291.2 billion won, or about $230 million, to take hold of 64% of the devicemaker from Korea’s Synergy Innovation. When it was announced last June, the companies said they were expecting the acquisition to close in the second half of 2022.

Though that deal has now been terminated, Boston Scientific said it still plans to collaborate with M.I.Tech and has signed a new agreement that would give it a minority stake in the company, representing a share of about 9.9%—though it didn’t provide financial details of the new deal.

“While we are disappointed that we will not complete this purchase as initially constructed, we are committed to investing in innovative, patient-centric technologies that solve unmet clinical needs and to continuing to grow our relationship with M.I.Tech,” Boston Scientific’s statement continued. “We expect to complete the minority stake purchase in mid-2023, subject to customary closing conditions.”

Additionally, Boston Scientific said it would continue to uphold a distribution agreement dating back to 2015 that allows it to sell M.I.Tech’s Hanarostent technology in Japan. The company’s flagship product is a self-expanding metal stent that’s meant to be placed throughout the airway and GI system to help clear obstructions.

Last summer’s M.I.Tech offer was the first of a string of M&A deals that Boston Scientific lined up throughout 2022. The second came just a few weeks later when the company put down an undisclosed amount to acquire South Carolina-based Obsidio, which makes hydrogel technology to create necessary blockades in the blood vessels.

It followed that up with a pair of back-to-back deals that together totaled more than a billion dollars, pledging $615 million in cash for GI devicemaker Apollo Endosurgery and another $523 million for China’s heart-focused Acotec Scientific.

More recently, Boston Scientific is said to be eyeing what could become one of its largest buyouts to date: A recent Bloomberg report claimed that the company is considering acquiring Shockwave Medical, which makes blood vessel-clearing catheters and currently boasts a market cap of more than $10 billion—which could push a purchase price well above that point.