GE Healthcare buys life support co Versamed

Versamed graduated from the Ofakim incubator.

Medical device company Versamed Medical Systems Inc., a maker of portable life-support ventilators, was acquired today by GE Healthcare for an undisclosed amount. "Globes" reported in October 2007 that Versamed was in acquisition talks with GE Healthcare at a company value of $40 million, and this is reportedly the final price tag.

Versamed makes software-based smart mechanical life-support ventilators for a range of treatment situations. The company's first product, the iVent 201, is designed for treatment in the field and emergency care. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it for marketing for use in hospitals, patients' homes, ambulances, and emergency treatment in the field.

Versamed was founded in Israel in 1995, but is now headquartered in the US. It has 100 employees and said that it would post $30 million revenue this year. The company obtained FDA approval relatively quickly, and began sales in 1999. During the high-tech boom in 2000, the company had considered a Nasdaq IPO at a company value of $250 million, but was unable to move forward before the market collapsed.

The company graduated from Ofakim Hi-Tech Ventures and raised $17 million from a number of investors, including Aura Investments Ltd. (TASE:AURA), TechnoPlus Ventures Ltd. (TASE:TNPV), FIBI Holdings Ltd. (TASE: FIBI), Technorov Holdings (1993) Ltd., Tripod Investments, Wheatley Partners, and a number of private investors.

In a notice to the TASE, Aura said today that it sold its 20,000 preferred Versamed shares for $3.8 million, including $2.5 million immediately and $1.3 million in two years. The company has booked the shares at a value of NIS 9.6 million.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 27, 2008

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2008

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