UPDATE: Nov. 11, 2020: Stryker said Wednesday it's completed its acquisition of Wright Medical, a deal first announced Nov. 4 of last year. The Kalamazoo, Michigan-based medtech said it will share 2021 guidance accounting for the impact of Wright on its earnings call in January.
- Stryker on Wednesday acknowledged a key pair of approvals from U.S. and U.K. antitrust authorities regarding finalization of its acquisition of Wright Medical, and said it expects the deal to close shortly after expiration of its tender offer next week.
- The U.S. Federal Trade Commission and U.K. Competition and Markets Authority, working in tandem, each said Stryker's planned divestiture of total ankle replacement products and finger joint implants to Colfax subsidiary DJO Global satisfied their concerns with the combination. Stryker and Colfax reached a definitive agreement Oct. 15.
- With those green lights, Stryker says its has obtained "all required regulatory approvals" to complete the acquisition, which it hopes will bolster its position in the trauma and extremities markets.
A year to the day after announcing its $4 billion plan to acquire Wright Medical, Stryker acknowledged that finalization of the deal is imminent. The tender offer of $30.75 per Wright Medical share has been extended seven times since. The latest extension has the offer expiring at 5 p.m. Eastern time next Tuesday, Nov. 10, and Stryker "expects to complete the tender offer promptly following the expiration," according to Wednesday's press release.
Stryker knew the time to close would not be short; from the beginning the company simply projected that the deal would be completed in the second half of 2020. Analysts immediately flagged potential antitrust concerns in combining the two companies' ankle businesses.
They were right and regulators in the U.S. and the U.K. held up the deal, while also taking issue with the prospect of a combined finger implant business. According to the FTC complaint shared Tuesday, without Stryker's planned divestiture, a combined Stryker-Wright company would control roughly three-quarters of the U.S. market for total ankle replacements, and more than half for finger joint implants.
In regard to the divestiture: "Under the proposed order, Stryker is required to supply DJO Global with transition assistance, and to act as an intermediary supplier until DJO Global obtains FDA approval to be the legal manufacturer of the divested products," FTC said in a press release.
The U.K.'s CMA shared its own announcement Wednesday. "The close cooperation with the FTC’s inquiry and early engagement with both companies has enabled Stryker to address our important concerns about this deal and has led to an outcome that works on a global basis," a senior CMA official said in a press release.
Stryker will be bringing Wright into the fold at a time when demand for medical devices has returned to closer to pre-pandemic levels, yet remains tenuous. Wright's quarterly filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday showed a sharp rebound in sales between the second quarter, which saw a decline of approximately 43%, and the third quarter, when sales grew 5.1%. Wright's U.S. lower extremities, upper extremities and biologics businesses all gained over the prior year, while its U.S. sports medicine business and all international segments declined.
Stryker has been quiet on investor calls in recent quarters regarding the deal, typically only addressing it in prepared remarks and declining questions. On the company's most recent earnings call last week, Stryker CEO Kevin Lobo simply acknowledged the company's planned divestiture and said the transaction was expected to close in November.