BlackRock Inc. (NYSE:BLK) is cashing in some of its chips in a clutch of medical device companies at the same time as it put more skin into Wright Medical Group Inc. (NSDQ:WMGI), according to regulatory filings.
The world’s largest asset management firm, which holds major positions in several medical device companies, revealed that it was increasing its holdings in Wright Medical Group Inc. by nearly 50 percent.
In regulatory filings with the federal SEC, the firm revealed that it now owns about 6.5 million shares of WMGI, good for about 16.5 percent of the company. On March 31, BlackRock held about 4.5 million shares of the Arlington, Tenn.-based orthopedic device maker.
BlackRock is now WMGI’s largest institutional shareholder, after Fidelity Investments sold off a large percentage of its holdings back in early June.
Since April 1 shares of WMGI have fluctuated from a high of $17.14 on April 1 to a low of $14.23 per share on June 17. The stock closed at $15.30 on Wall Street Friday.
BlackRock, which controls more than $3.2 trillion in assets, became a major presence in medical devices in late 2009 following its purchase of Barclay’s Global Investors last December.
At the same time as it has been increasing its stake in WMGI, The New York, N.Y.-based firm was selling off some sizable chunks of its holdings in three other med tech companies, including 7 percent of its shares of Varian Medical Systems Inc. (NYSE:VAR), 10 percent of its shares in Orthofix International (NSDQ:OFIX) and about 46 percent of its piece of Conceptus Inc. (CPTS).