When media reports of the massive, $42.9 billion merger between Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) and Covidien (NYSE:COV) surfaced last weekend, Min. Gov. Mark Dayton received personal assurances from Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak that the medical device company would not only keep its headquarters in the North Star State, but would be increasing its local presence.
In Massachusetts, where Covidien houses its corporate headquarters and more than 1,800 employees, state officials told MassDevice.com today that they have yet to be contacted by either company about the combined companies’ presence in the Commonwealth.
"No, I haven’t talked to them," Gov. Deval Patrick told us. "I don’t know much of the details about [the merger]. There are going to be deals and I hope this is a deal that benefits us."
Private companies are not required to notify public officials about upcoming mergers and are only required to provide 60-day notice of plant closures or mass layoffs, as a result of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
But Ishrak nevertheless sought to reassure Dayton personally that the deal would add an additional 1,000 Minnesota workers in the coming years, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.
Despite the lack of communication from Covidien or Medtronic, Patrick and other life science officials in the Bay State expressed optimism that the deal could ultimately be good for Massachusetts.
"I take the up-side view of this," Mass. Life Sciences Center CEO Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister told us. "I view this as [Medtronic] establishing a big footprint in Massachusetts, and I have got to believe that they’re going to continue to invest in that footprint here to take advantage of the great R&D that’s going on here and the workforce we have in Massachusetts."
Windham-Bannister conceded that some local job losses are the likely result of the merger and consolidation of the 2 massive companies. But she pointed to recent successes Massachusetts has seen from consolidation in the pharma world.
"Look at what Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) has done, what Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) has done and what Novartis (NYSE:NVS) has done. They have made this region part of their strategic focus areas in the world, and I believe Medtronic will do that too," Windham-Bannister told us.