Philips has agreed to buy the Spectranetics Corporation for about $2.2 billion. The acquired assets will bolster the Dutch company’s heart disease therapy portfolio and equip it to mount an assault on the multibillion-dollar market for coronary stents.
Spectranetics has built its business upon products that help cardiac surgeons retrieve leads, treat coronary lesions and address peripheral artery disease. Lasers are central to the devices. In the context of removing a lead, the laser frees the lead from scar tissue binding sites. When applied to coronary lesions and peripheral artery disease, the laser attacks and treats the lesions.
Philips sees these devices slotting into its image-guided therapy business.
“We will have quite a nice lineup of devices for both heart, coronary, peripheral, vascular therapies,” Philips CEO Frans van Houten said on a call with Reuters. “In combination with our image-guided systems which enable doctors to see inside the body and use these tools, we have a very compelling market position.”
Van Houten thinks the blockage-blasting capabilities of Spectranetics’ laser products could enable them to steal market share from cardiac stents. Adoption of the laser approach is dwarfed by the use of stents today. But the size of the market for coronary stents means Philips could create a notable business if it can make inroads into the sector.
That potential is one reason Philips chose to pay a 27% premium to acquire the loss-making firm. With Spectranetics revenues for the year expected to come in at about $300 million, its valuation is more than seven times its sales. Bloomberg reports similar takeovers are typically valued at five times sales.
Philips paid such a premium despite, to its knowledge, being the only suitor for Spectranetics. The willingness to pay what one analyst called “a punchy price” reflects Philips’ belief in the devices and the transformation it is undergoing.
Under the leadership of van Houten Philips is largely exiting lighting and consumer products and doubling down on healthcare. The acquisition of Spectranetics is one manifestation of this shift in strategy.
The deal continues a busy month for Philips’ healthcare team. In recent weeks, Philips has agreed to buy Electrical Geodesics for about $37 million and brought the latest iterations of its radiology informatics platform and patient monitoring device to market in the U.S. and Europe, respectively.
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