Titan Medical eyeing possible sale, merger amid threat of Nasdaq delisting

After spending the entire year in a fruitless struggle to return to shareholders’ good graces, Titan Medical is considering a new approach.

The surgical robot maker’s board of directors has tapped the investment bank Raymond James to help it begin exploring “strategic alternatives” that could keep the company’s head above water, Titan announced Wednesday. It’ll look at a variety of options, including a sale of some or all of the company’s assets, a full-on corporate sale, a merger or another type of “significant transaction” that would refill its coffers.

“Our management team is completely aligned with the board’s decision to explore options to maximize shareholder value,” said CEO Cary Vance. “We believe it is prudent to undertake a review of our strategic options to determine the best path forward to realize the value of our innovations in single-access robotic-assisted technologies to maximize shareholder value.”

Titan didn’t offer up any timeline for the process and noted that it will only provide future updates on the review if and when it reaches some kind of definitive agreement.

The resuscitation attempt comes almost a full year after Titan was first hit with a warning from the Nasdaq in the final days of 2021, after its stock had failed to climb above the $1 mark for 30 consecutive business days. At the time, the stock exchange gave the devicemaker 180 days to climb back above the minimum bid price—and stay there for at least 10 days.

Six months later, at the end of June, Titan’s shares were still trading for a few dimes apiece, having spent most of that period wobbling between $0.40 and $0.60. Nasdaq granted the company a 180-day extension but, to date, its stock has only continued the downward trajectory, returning in late November to its all-time low price of $0.39, a nadir it first reached in April. The Nasdaq’s final deadline for compliance is set for Dec. 26.

The newly launched strategic review seemed to inject a small dose of hope back into Titan’s shareholders: After the news broke Wednesday morning, its stock spent the day climbing nearly 30%, from a closing price of $0.39 on Tuesday afternoon to $0.50—its highest point since mid-September—24 hours later.

Beyond the potential sale or other transaction, Titan is also exploring a possible consolidation of its shares, a move that shareholders will vote on in early January, the company announced last month. Such a share consolidation would likely represent “the last option available to the company to regain compliance with the minimum bid price requirement and maintain its Nasdaq listing,” according to Titan.

Even amid a tumultuous financial state, Titan is still plowing full steam ahead in its product development. In September, it bulked up its existing partnership with Medtronic with a new definitive agreement that extends their joint efforts to develop and commercialize Titan’s surgical technologies.

And in the November announcement about the proposed share consolidation, Vance said the company is still on track to deliver the first of its Enos single-access robotic surgical systems to its North Carolina facility by the end of the year.

“We are excited and ready to commence verification, validation and safety testing on the delivered unit in support of the planned IDE submission to the FDA in 2023,” the chief executive said at the time. “Following submission, we expect to finalize our clinical trial design and continue to plan our commercialization strategy for the U.S. market.”