Comings and goings: Evolutions

  • Updated: April 23, 2011 - 4:27 PM

A frothy mergers & acquisitions market, cash-rich suitors and a recovering economy combined to create lots of turnover on our Star Tribune 100 list last year. Medical device companies were especially attractive targets. And two initial public offerings added fresh faces, as well.

A frothy mergers & acquisitions market, cash-rich suitors and a recovering economy combined to create lots of turnover on our Star Tribune 100 list last year. Medical device companies were especially attractive targets. And two initial public offerings added fresh faces, as well.

GOING

American Medical Systems Holdings, ranked No. 44, agreed this month to accept Endo Pharmaceutical's $2.9 billion cash offer, a deal scheduled to close in the third quarter. American Medical makes devices to treat urological and gynecological disorders.

GONE

Three other Minnesota medical companies were acquired last year, two of them by bigger players at the top of the list.

Medtronic, ranked No. 7, bought ATS Medical (ranked No. 78 in 2009) for $370 million. ATS, a maker of artificial heart valves and other cardiac products, broadens Medtronic's portfolio of heart treatment options.

But St. Jude Medical, ranked No. 15, made the bigger move, acquiring AGA Medical Holdings Inc. for $1.3 billion. AGA, ranked No. 62 last year, raised $200 million in an October 2009 IPO. AGA makes products to repair holes in the heart.

EV3 Inc. (No. 52 in 2009) attracted an international buyer. Covidien, a global health care products company based in Dublin, Ireland, paid about $2.6 billion for EV3, a maker of endovascular medical devices.

Data storage companies became hot targets and Eden Prairie-based Compellent Technologies Inc. became a prize acquisition of Dell Inc. The maker of data storage systems, ranked No. 68 last year, fetched about $906 million.

ADC Telecommunications, ranked No. 33 a year ago, was acquired by Tyco Electronics in December in another billion-dollar deal. Tyco paid about $1.25 billion for ADC, which makes hardware and software for data networks.

Private equity firms busied themselves taking out members from last year's list. Remote diagnostic services provider Virtual Radiologic (No. 69 in 2009) was taken private by investment firm Providence Equity Partners of Rhode Island for $294 million in May 2010.

Plato Learning (No. 83 in 2009) was acquired by private equity firm Thoma Bravo in May 2010.

Zareba Systems (No. 93 in 2009) merged with a subsidiary of Woodstream Corp., a Pennsylvania company. Woodstream makes wild bird feeders and animal training and containment products. Zareba, which makes electronic fence and security systems, offers Woodstream a complementary product line.

MoneyGram International Inc. (No. 32 on last year's list) got a new CEO in Pamela Patsley, and one of her first decisions was to move the headquarters from St. Louis Park to Dallas.

Health Fitness Corp. (No 77 in 2009) was acquired by insurer Trustmark Mutual Holding Co. for about $97 million. Health Fitness manages corporate and hospital-based fitness centers.

New blood

After no initial public offerings in 2008 and just one in 2009, two IPOs join this year's list.

SPS Commerce raised $49 million in an April 2009 IPO. The Minneapolis-based company, which provides on-demand supply chain management software, debuts at No. 80.

New Prague-based Electromed Inc. raised $6 million in August. The company's most promising product is the Smartvest Airway Clearance System (pictured at right), an externally worn device that helps patients clear their lungs of excess mucus. Electromed joins our list at No. 95.

MOVING UP

Loads of companies climbed onto the list as a result of the departures. Most didn't exactly grow their way on. Last year's 100th-ranked company was Image Sensing Systems with $24.6 million in revenue. Image Sensing jumped to No. 85 this year with revenue up a solid 28.8 percent to $31.7 million.

But the revenue floor has fallen. This year's No. 100 company is Uroplasty Inc., a maker of devices to treat voiding dysfunctions. Uroplasty's 2010 revenue: $12.8 million.

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