Hillrom to acquire Breathe Tech and its wearable ventilator for $130M

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The $130 million cash deal would see Breathe’s Life2000 non-invasive air system added to Hillrom’s respiratory care portfolio. (Kritchanut/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

Hillrom has moved to pick up former Fierce 15 winner Breathe Technologies, maker of a wearable ventilator for people with lung conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 

The $130 million cash deal would see Breathe’s Life2000 non-invasive air system added to Hillrom’s respiratory care portfolio, broadening the company’s reach in COPD as well as interstitial lung disease, restrictive thoracic disorder and rehabilitation following a lung transplant.

The ventilator unit, which weighs about a pound, can be worn on a belt or waistband and has a four-hour battery life. It can be connected to a separate, stationary compressor for use inside the home, with tubing up to 50 feet long, or used alone outside the home while connected to an alternate pressure source.

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"The acquisition of a highly differentiated, wearable non-invasive ventilation technology provides an exciting growth platform that utilizes our direct Respiratory Care commercial channel and business model," Hillrom President and CEO John Groetelaars said in a statement. 

Breathe's Life2000 ventilator
and compressor. (Breathe)

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"This transaction represents another example of our plan to strategically deploy capital with a disciplined approach toward higher-growth and higher-margin businesses by expanding into the disruptive new category of non-invasive ventilation," Groetelaars added. 

Hillrom expects to close the deal during the fourth quarter of its 2019 fiscal year. The other products in its respiratory portfolio include a variety of airway clearance systems, including wearable and acute care versions, as well as nebulizer support.