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Canada's OpSens agrees $250M Haemonetics sale

11 Oct 2023

Québec-based developer of fiber-optic sensors for medical and industrial applications will become part of larger US group.

OpSens, a Canadian company that makes fiber-optic sensors now used widely in cardiology applications, is set to become part of the much larger Haemonetics by early 2024.

A deal valuing the Québec-headquartered firm at CAD$345 million ($253 million) has been approved unanimously by OpSens’ board of directors, but remains subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.

OCT for cardiology
Established 20 years ago, OpSens is largely focused on cardiology applications of its sensors, which are able to measure fractional flow reserve (FFR) and diastolic pressure in patients with coronary artery disease.

Its flagship “OptoWire” product, which uses optical coherence tomography, is designed to diagnose the severity of coronary artery narrowing - and to guide treatments such as angioplasty, where a stent is inserted to keep key blood flowing freely through affected arteries.

OpSens says that OptoWire has now been used on more than 250,000 patients in more than 30 countries worldwide, and claims that the technology has demonstrably reduced both the incidence of major adverse cardiac events, and patent treatment costs.

Last year the company also received clearance in both the US and Canada to commercialize its newer “SavvyWire” product, which is designed to aid transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) - a minimally invasive treatment for patients with narrowed aortic valves who might otherwise undergo open-heart surgery.

OpSens sees a major and growing market opportunity for SavvyWire, with the number of TAVR procedures performed globally each year expected to near-double to more than 600,000 by 2030.

Strategic review
Traded on the Toronto stock exchange since 2006, OpSens’ stock price jumped in value by close to 50 per cent following news of the Haemonetics deal, which offers shareholders a similar premium.

Alan Milinazzo, executive chairman of the OpSens board of directors, said in a release announcing the agreement: “After a substantial strategic review, we have concluded that this transaction is in the best interest of OpSens and our shareholders.”

Louis Laflamme, the company’s long-time CEO, added: “The integration within Haemonetics should enhance the benefits for OpSens’ products with access to a world-class sales network, while capitalizing on the specialized production and R&D expertise of OpSens.”

As the name suggests, Boston-based Haemonetics is largely focused on blood-related medical products, including devices for collecting plasma, systems for processing red blood cells, and software for managing blood transfusions.

Stewart Strong, the president of its "hospital" business unit, commented: “With the acquisition of OpSens, we expand our leadership in interventional cardiology and strengthen our foundation for additional growth and diversification.

“By leveraging OpSens' proprietary optical sensor technology, our global commercial infrastructure, and our relationships with the top US hospitals performing TAVR and [stent] procedures, we have a powerful opportunity to improve standards of care for more physicians and patients worldwide.”

Back in July, OpSens reported a third consecutive quarter of record sales, with revenues of CAD$13.2 million up 30 per cent year-on-year. Sales of its OptoWire products accounted for CAD$6.8 million of that total, with industrial applications contributing CAD$0.7 million.

However, that still translated to a pre-tax loss of CAD$4.1 million, up from CAD$2.8 million a year earlier.

In its most recent financial quarter, Haemonetics recorded a pre-tax income of $52 million on sales of $311 million. It plans to finance the OpSens acquisition, which should be completed by the end of January 2024, through a combination of cash and a revolving credit facility.

TRIOPTICS GmbHLASEROPTIK GmbHHyperion OpticsLaCroix Precision OpticsMad City Labs, Inc.Universe Kogaku America Inc.CeNing Optics Co Ltd
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