Medafor of Brooklyn Center is sold to unit of C.R. Bard

After fighting off a hostile bid in 2010, Medafor’s owners will get $200 million, plus incentives that could add another $80 million.

Medafor of Brooklyn Center agreed to be purchased by a unit of C.R. Bard for $200 million plus revenue-based incentives. Medafor had previously fought off takeover attempts that executives felt valued the company too cheaply.

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Officials at Medafor Inc., a Brooklyn Center-based maker of a novel blood clotting product, said they’ve been looking for ways to enhance shareholder value — be it an initial public offering, new business relationships or just continuing organic growth. The one thing they weren’t looking for was a buyer, leaders said Monday.

Then the folks at C.R. Bard Inc., a New Jersey-based medical equipment maker, came calling.

Their offer — $200 million in cash now and up to $80 million more if revenue targets are hit in the next two years — proved too attractive to pass up, said Medafor CEO Gary Shope.

Medafor on Monday announced that it has an agreement to be purchased by C.R. Bard’s Davol Inc. division. The transaction has been approved by both companies’ boards of directors, but is subject to approval by Medafor’s shareholders and customary regulatory review.

“The premium price underscores what we have been building on,” Shope said in an interview Monday. “I think the shareholders are being rewarded with a great price.”

Medafor’s appeal has been its plant-based microporous polysaccharide hemospheres technology, which is used in its Arista MPH hemostat product. The product rapidly dehydrates blood and accelerates the body’s natural blood-­clotting process.

Sept. 24 is the target date for shareholder approval, Shope said. The deal values Medafor’s privately held shares at $6.37 per share. The revenue-based incentives are valued at up to $2.82 per share.

It’s a significantly better deal than the $2 per share that Atlanta-based CryoLife Inc. proposed in a takeover bid in 2010. At the time, the Medafor board called the bid “grossly inadequate.” CryoLife was an exclusive-rights distributor for Medafor’s blood-clotting technology in the United States and some international markets. It had also made offers for Medafor in 2008 and 2009, which Medafor also rebuffed.

C.R. Bard said Medafor will add approximately 1 percent to its 2014 revenue. The company, a maker of vascular, oncology and surgical products, had revenue of about $3 billion last year. Scott Lowry, C.R. Bard vice president and treasurer, said he expects Medafor, which has 33 employees, to have annual revenue of $30 million to $40 million by the end of 2013. Medafor’s products will complement C.R. Bard’s hemostasis unit and broaden its product portfolio, he said.

“We look at this as a growth opportunity,” Lowry said. “Our plan is to grow this business.”

He says it is premature to comment on status of Medafor’s management and employees since the deal still needs Medafor shareholder approval and to pass other regulatory requirements. Shope, the Medafor CEO, said he believes that Bard is considering keeping the Medafor organization intact but that “going forward, they will be making their own decisions.”

John Houston, an attorney at Fredrikson & Byron who served as Medafor’s lead legal counsel for the transaction, said: “This really was an offer that came out of left field. It was not solicited and it was not anticipated.”

Officials from Bard had met with two of Medafor’s senior officers at a conference in Spain less than a year ago, he said.

According to C.R. Bard’s statement on the acquisition, the global market for surgical hemostats is over $1.4 billion. “The Arista hemostat provides a great alternative to other commercially available hemostats while providing strong synergy with our Progel Sealant technology and sales channel,” said Timothy Ring, C.R. Bard’s chairman and CEO.

 

jwalsh@startribune.com • 612-673-7428 pkennedy@startribune.com • 612-673-7926

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