Fresenius/Liberty - Top 10 medical device deals of 2011

Companies: Fresenius Medical Care/Liberty Dialysis Holdings
Value: $1.7 billion

Scoop:  In August, Fresenius Medical Care, which offers products and services for individuals undergoing dialysis as a result of chronic kidney failure, announced that it was buying two U.S.-based dialysis companies—Liberty Dialysis Holdings and American Access Care Holdings—for a combined total of about $2 billion. The Liberty purchase alone was valued at $1.7 billion. Fresenius said at the time that Mercer Island, WA-based Liberty had annual sales of about $1 billion and operated about 260 dialysis clinics.

"I have found Liberty's physician partners to be a thoughtful, energetic and involved group of physicians," said Frank Maddux, chief medical information officer of Fresenius. "They have worked in a collaborative process to tackle industry challenges ranging from the Conditions for Coverage, to the Bundle and the QIP. One example of this team's success is the fact that Liberty has achieved the lowest catheter rates in the industry, which clearly contributes to their favorable outcomes for patients and yields lower overall cost for the health system."

Given Liberty's strength and size, at least one analyst saw the move as a good choice for Fresenius, which is based in Germany. "Fresenius has certainly shown that scale matters," Sanford C. Bernstein's Lisa Clive told Bloomberg at the time, adding, "It makes strategic sense."

As Bloomberg noted late last month, Fresenius CEO Ben Lipps is eyeing more acquisitions in 2012 to increase sales and offset lower Medicare reimbursements in the U.S.

Fresenius/Liberty - Top 10 medical device deals of 2011