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Masimo ponders spinning off consumer business

27 Mar 2024

Maker of pulse oximetry sensors and smart watches evaluates split of business into healthcare and consumer units.

Masimo Corporation, the California-headquartered developer of photonics-based pulse oximetry technology, says it is evaluating a plan to separate the business into separate units focused on healthcare and consumer products.

The proposal comes in the wake of a long-running patent infringement battle with Apple that saw US imports of some of the consumer electronics giant’s smart watches banned at the end of last year.

Masimo has also launched its own line of smart watches recently, boasting that the devices have been cleared by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for monitoring blood oxygen saturation.

Masimo’s board of directors has now authorized the firm’s management to evaluate the separation of its consumer-focused business, which would incorporate several well-known audio technology brands alongside the smart watches.

“Masimo expects that the separation will include its consumer audio and consumer health products, including the Stork baby monitor and the Freedom smart watch and band,” it stated. “Masimo will retain its professional healthcare and telehealth products.”

‘22nd Century healthcare ‘
The company expects the move to improve the profitability of its healthcare business, which delivered sales of $1.28 billion in 2023. “Non-healthcare” revenues, which include sales of consumer audio brands including Bowers & Wilkins, Denon, and Marantz, totaled $773 million over the same period.

Masimo CEO Joe Kiani, who would remain in that role and become chairman of a separate consumer-focused company in the event of a split, said:

“I truly believe there is tremendous opportunity to increase not just the lifespan but the healthspan of people by taking healthcare into the home.

“We have unique and necessary technologies to make what I’ve been calling 22nd Century healthcare happen in the next few years. I proposed a separation of the consumer business in January and the board has agreed to move forward.”

Having now launched its “Freedom” and “W1” smart watches, Masimo is aiming to complete the separation as quickly as possible.

The firm also reaffirmed its revenue guidance for 2024, in which healthcare sales are expected to rise to around $1.37 billion.

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