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Medical device maker accepts $10.9-billion bid

December 19, 2006|From the Associated Press

Orthopedic device maker Biomet Inc. agreed to be acquired by a private investment group for $10.9 billion in cash.

The consortium offered $44 a share, 27% more than Biomet's closing price on April 3, the last trading day before the company indicated it was looking for a buyer.

After the offer was announced Monday, Biomet shares fell 41 cents, or 1%, to close at $41.59.

In June, Warsaw, Ind.-based Biomet and three other orthopedic device makers announced they had received subpoenas stemming from possible criminal violations in the manufacturing and sale of the implant.

The acquiring group includes investment funds managed by Blackstone Group, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Texas Pacific Group.

The $10.9-billion purchase price reflects the potential of the industry despite the recent antitrust concerns.

"They wouldn't be making the investment if they didn't see some definite future growth in the company, and most likely in the industry in general," said Linda Varoli, vice president of merger research with New York-based Wall Street Access.

Also Monday, Biomet said a review found that a substantial number of stock option grants that were made from 1996 to 2006 and were issued on different dates than when they were granted to take advantage of a lower stock price "were not well documented."

Such backdating of option grants is not illegal, but it must be properly accounted for.

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