Boston Scientific-BTG deal faces FTC holdup
- Boston Scientific and BTG notified investors Friday that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a request for additional information and documentary material related to Boston Scientific's proposed $4.2 billion acquisition of U.K.-based BTG, first announced in November.
- The companies said the questioning relates to their respective beads businesses.
- Despite the slowdown from the anti-trust watchdog, the two companies said they still believe the transaction will close around mid-2019.
Boston Scientific made an industry-leading 10 acquisitions in 2018, and the BTG pick-up was by far the biggest. The acquisition was largely motivated by Boston Scientific's desire to gain assets in interventional oncology and vascular devices. Boston Scientific would notably gain BTG’s TheraSphere Y-90 radiotherapy microspheres and GALIL cryoablation system, as well as the FDA-cleared EKOS Endovascular System for targeting blood clots related to pulmonary emboli, deep vein thrombosis and peripheral arterial occlusions.
Embolization procedures involve tiny beads, also referred to as particles or microspheres, being injected into vessels to stop blood flow to certain arteriovenous malformations and hypervascular tumors. Between Boston Scientific's Contour, Embozene and Oncozene products and BTG's LC Bead line, the companies dominate much of the market, though Medtronic, Cook Medical and Merit Medical Systems also have offerings.
The FTC's "Second Request" will extend the regulator's assessment until 30 days after the companies comply. The companies said they intend to respond to the FTC request promptly and noted that the merger has already received clearance in Germany and Taiwan. BTG shareholders will meet Feb. 28 to discuss approving the deal.
Boston Scientific said on a recent earnings call that it will focus in 2019 on integrating its 2018 acquisitions and that while it will slow its pace of M&A, it is still poised for some potential tuck-in acquisitions.