Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) CEO Omar Ishrak put the kaibosh on a spinout for the company’s spine business, telling Reuters that all of the company’s parts add up to a greater whole, with one notable exception – its Physio-Control external defibrillator unit.
“[O]ur assessment is that the different pieces of Medtronic [together] actually add value,” Ishrak told the news service, but added that the company is still considering a sale of Physio-Control.
The Minneapolis-area medical device giant is keeping an eye on equity markets with an eye toward timing a sale, he said.
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Medtronic has been shopping the business since 2006, saying it would do better as a stand-alone operation. But Physio-Control has been a headache since the company first announced its desire to sell, due to a series of recalls in 2009 and 2010.
Although bearish on Physio-Control, Ishrak was bullish on a high blood pressure treatment that began a pivotal clinical trial last week. Medtronic and acquired bybought the device along with Ardian Inc. in January. The procedure involves using a catheter to ablate the nerves lining the renal arteries. The device received CE Mark approval for sale in the European Union and also won an Australia TGA listing.
MDT shares opened down 1.5 percent and had lost nearly 3 percent as of about 11:10 today, trading at $34.48.
The selloff was triggered by an FDA advisory panel’s 8-2 vote not to recommend approval for Medtronic’s catheter-based radiofrequency device to treat a type of atrial fibrillation. The company acquired that technology when it bought Ablation Frontiers in 2009.