Respironics to Acquire Novametrix
Respironics Inc, Pittsburgh, and Novametrix Medical Systems Inc, Wallingford, Conn, entered into a definitive merger agreement on December 18, 2001, in which Respironics will acquire Novametrix. The merger was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.

“Novametrix is an excellent fit strategically and operationally. This is a highly synergistic transaction in terms of technology, products, and markets served,” states James W. Liken, president and CEO of Respironics. “In addition, our sales, marketing, and R&D efforts are complementary. We expect the transaction to be accretive in the first full year following the acquisition.”

Combined revenues of the two companies are approximately $490 million for the latest 12 months. This tax-free, stock-for-stock transaction is valued at $8.65 per share to the Novametrix stockholders, or $90 million, based on the assumption of approximately $6 million in debt and Respironics’ December 17, 2001, closing price of $34.59.

“Novametrix’ board of directors and management team strongly endorse this tax-free transaction and believe it is an excellent opportunity for Novametrix’ stockholders,” states William J. Lacourciere, chairman and CEO of Novametrix. “As part of this acquisition, Novametrix becomes an important contributor to Respironics’ growth in revenues and earnings. This was an important consideration in deciding on a stock-for-stock transaction.”;

Aerocrine AB Appoints Strategic Partner
Aerocrine AB, Solna, Sweden selected Dynamed Health Care Systems as its new service partner for the United States and Canada. Effective December 17, 2001, all customer service and technical support will be performed by Dynamed.;

Comprehensive Programs Available to Home Care Dealers
Puritan Bennett, Pleasanton, Calif, now part of Tyco Healthcare, offers the HELiOS Elite and HELiOS Authorized Dealer Programs to support the company’s HELiOS™ Personal Oxygen System. The programs, introduced at last year’s Medtrade, are available to qualified home care dealers nationwide. More information can be obtained by calling (800) 635-5267.

SensorMedics and Premier Sign Contract
SensorMedics, a subsidiary of VIASYS Healthcare, Conshohocken, Pa, announced in November that it was awarded several agreements with Premier Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, SensorMedics will provide high-frequency oscillatory ventilators, pulmonary and metabolic analyzers, sleep diagnostic systems, and supplies to Premier’s membership alliance. The contract period is October 1, 2001, through September 30, 2004.;

DHD Offers New Line of Respiratory Care Products
DHD Healthcare Corporation, Wampsville, NY, recently acquired a new line of tracheostomy straps and endotracheal tube holders from STI Medical Products Corporation, Costa Mesa, Calif. The new DHD® Tracheostomy Strap features soft foam padding and convenient, adjustable Velcro hooks. The strap fits all patients and is ideal for long-term patient care. (800) 847-8000;

Hirsch Appointed President of Practice Builders
Medical World Communications Inc (MWC), Jamesburg, NJ, has promoted Lonnie Hirsch to president of Practice Builders, Santa Ana, Calif, as part of an ongoing growth strategy for the subsidiary company of MWC. Practice Builders is a professional-practice health care marketing firm specializing in the design and implementation of private-practice growth and marketing plans. Hirsch will assume immediate responsibility for national operations including sales, marketing, support services, and product development.

Siemens and Allegiance Enter 3-Year Agreement
Siemens Medical Solutions, Danvers, Mass, announced in December that it had selected Allegiance Healthcare Corporation’s Respiratory Care business, McGaw Park, Ill, as the exclusive US distributor of Siemens’ Servo™ family of ventilators. Under the 3-year agreement, Allegiance will offer the Servo line to hospitals, subacute-care, and long-term care facilities.;

Tyco Conglomerate Splits Up
n Tyco International Ltd, Exeter, NH, made headlines when the company announced it would split into four companies to calm investors made nervous by rumors of accounting problems at Tyco. “The plan is designed to close the gap between Tyco’s market value in recent years and the value of our business,” Tyco’s chairman, L. Dennis Kozlowski, told The New York Times. The stock of the Bermuda-based conglomerate had fallen 20% since December.

Tyco Healthcare customers will notice few, if any, changes, however, since the entire health care division, including respiratory care manufacturers Nellcor, Mallinckrodt, and Puritan Bennett, is being spun off as a single unit.
If industry trends continue, Tyco Healthcare should do well. The unit had $1.7 billion in profits in 2001, Tyco says, and the day the split was announced, Nellcor signed a 3-year, sole-source contract with MedAssets Inc Healthcare Solutions, a group purchasing provider based in Alpharetta, Ga.