The deal: Medtronic buyout of Covidien
The price tag: $50 billion, after taking into account Covidien's stock appreciation postannouncement
Inversion? Yes, Medtronic is now incorporated in Ireland
Status: Closed in January 2015

Why it matters: This was easily the most talked-about med tech deal of the year, and one of the most discussed among all transactions, regardless of industry. Several Big Pharma inversion deals fell through the roof, but this couple stayed true to each other in good times and bad--like when the Treasury Department issued new rules designed to deter the tax-saving practice.

Medtronic ($MDT) dealt with the unpopularity by promising the combined company would invest an additional $10 billion in the U.S. than the two companies would on their own. And as a result of the new rules, Medtronic had to borrow $13.5 billion more than originally planned. But that didn't stop it from making several smaller acquisitions during the interim period.

Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak

Check out FierceMedicalDevices' timeline of key events during the transaction to get a complete picture of the many steps that led to the creation of an Irish med tech behemoth with an estimated $27 billion in annual revenue and a combined 85,000 employees.

Besides the tax savings, the combination makes business sense as well. There is not much overlap between Covidien's "mid tech" offerings and Medtronic's focus on PMA-approved, high-tech devices. This is evidenced by the lack of notable divestitures, with the exception of Covidien's sale of its clinical-stage drug-coated balloon program to Spectranetics ($SPNC) for $30 million.     

"This acquisition will allow Medtronic to reach more patients, in more ways and in more places," said Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak upon the deal's announcement last June. "Our expertise and portfolio of services will allow us to serve our customers more efficiently and better address the demands of the current healthcare marketplace. We also look forward to welcoming the Covidien team to Medtronic and working together to improve healthcare outcomes globally." 

Meanwhile, Medtronic chief integration officer Geoff Martha stressed that Covidien expands Medtronic's breadth of offerings, saying in an October speech, "What's interesting about Covidien is they bring us several new clinical areas to play in like lung cancer, Barrett's esophagus (and) stroke. They make our peripheral vascular business much more scaled. They bring a whole new set of technologies that we can innovate around."

And the completion of the deal won't lower the profile of the company. Medtronic has always been the most closely followed company among med techers, and now it will operate with a giant target on its back, for it has several rivals due to its impressive size.

For more:
FierceMedicalDevices timeline of key events during the transaction with links to our coverage of the deal
Medtronic and Covidien to close $43B merger today with Irish High Court approval
Done deal: Medtronic to buy Covidien for $42.9B