Price range: $300 million and up
The scoop: Ohio's AtriCure ($ATRC) is no stranger to buyout rumors, and the company seems to wind up on lists like this year after year. So why is it more likely to be bought in 2013? The industry's heaviest hitters have wised up to the value of electrophysiology, spending big on cardiac catheter ablation technologies. This year alone, Boston Scientific ($BSX) dropped $275 million on rival C.R. Bard's ($BCR) electrophysiology unit, and St. Jude Medical ($STJ) spent $331 million on Endosense and its TactiCath. In that context, AtriCure and its atrial fibrillation-treating technologies look more and more attractive. Last quarter, the company grew its sales by 11.8% to $20.4 million, raising its full-year guidance to between $77 million and $78.5 million, good for up to 12% growth over 2012.
Who wants it? AtriCure's fleet of devices could easily dovetail with the electrophysiology offerings of giants like Medtronic ($MDT) and Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), but the company could also make for an affordable entré into a high-growth market for the recently deal-happy Abbott Laboratories ($ABT).
AtriCure's Q2 revenue makes a splash, but sales costs lead to net loss
St. Jude snags Endosense for up to $331M
Boston Scientific buying Bard's electrophysiology biz for $275M