Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc. is entertaining an offer from a private equity-backed holding company for its breast care business, including the MammoTome biopsy system.
The Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary has until June 15 to decide whether to accept the offer from Devicor Medical Products, a portfolio company of GTCR Golder Rauner LLC. Specific terms of the offer were not disclosed.
Under the terms of the proposal, Devicor would acquire Ethicon’s entire breast care product portfolio, including the MammoTome breast biopsy system; the MammoMark, MicroMark and CoreMark tissue markers used for breast disease diagnosis; and the marketing and distribution rights to the Neoprobe gamma detection system. Should Ethicon accept the bid, the deal would likely close by the third quarter, according to a press release.
"As we continually prioritize strategic investments that are aligned with our future growth platforms, we determined that the Breast Care products are outside of this scope, and decided to explore the potential sale of the business. We believe this offer demonstrates commitment from Devicor and GTCR to develop the Breast Care business to its full potential," Karen Licitra, chairwoman of the Ethicon Endo-Surgery group, said in prepared remarks.
GTCR formed Devicor to focus on minimally invasive surgical procedures. The PE firm’s investment strategy involves hiring experienced managers with expertise in specific arenas and building companies around them through acquisition and organic growth, according to its website.
In February, Ethicon won a victory in a patent spat with Hologic Inc. (NSDQ:HOLX) over the MammoTome technology. Ethicon had accused the Bedford, Mass.-based women’s health products maker of violating a quartet of patents with its ATEC system, and of violating false advertising laws. Hologic agreed to settle the case for $12.5 million and inked a cross-licensing deal that calls for it to pay Ethicon royalties on sales of its ATEC and EVIVA products; Ethicon will pay royalties to Hologic on sales of its Mammotome MR device.