YORBA LINDA — Sensormedics Corp., which won a UC Irvine award for creating the best new medical device last year, said Tuesday that it has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for permission to become a public company by selling 1.7 million shares in March.
The company, which manufactures a ventilator for premature babies, said it wants to raise about $23 million to be used for expanding the company and paying off debt.
"We wanted to go public to access the capital markets and be in a position to grow at a faster rate," Pierre Sice, chief financial officer, said.
Sice said the 300-employee company, which also manufactures blood gas monitors and sleep diagnostic and metabolic equipment, could complete its initial public offering by early March.
The offering is subject to SEC approval.
If approved, the 10-year-old company, which was spun off from Beckman Instruments Inc. in 1983, would sell shares at $14 to $16 apiece. Shearson Lehman Brothers of New York and investment banker Vector Securities International of Chicago would be the underwriters.
In May, the company was awarded the 1992 Medical Product of the Year award by UCI's Medical Research and Education Society for its oscillatory ventilator for premature babies. The machine was praised by judges, who said it could save thousands of babies' lives each year. The ventilators provide oxygen to premature babies, whose lungs are too underdeveloped to breath properly.
In its prospectus, Sensormedics said it had net income of $1.1 million, or 55 cents a share, on revenue of $49 million for its fiscal year ended Sept. 30.