CooperCompanies Backs Out of Acquiring Cook’s Reproductive Health Unit

The $875 million acquisition was scrapped because it faced scrutiny from the FTC.

Omar Ford

August 4, 2023

1 Min Read
Image Credit: LD via iStock/Getty Images

CooperCompanies has called off its plan to acquire Cook Medical’s reproductive health division after the deal came under scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission. The deal was valued at $875 million and was announced in February of 2022.

“This deal termination protects competition and is a win for patients,” FTC Bureau of Competition Director Holly Vedova said in a release.

The reproductive health business is a manufacturer of minimally invasive medical devices focused on the fertility, obstetrics, and gynecology markets.

The canceled deal comes a few months after Cook announced it would cut about 500 positions in order to refocus efforts on product innovation.  

Several medtech deals have been challenged by the FTC in recent months. The agency’s scrutiny is one reason why M&A has been sluggish this year, according to a recent analyst report from Needham & Co.’s Mike Matson.

"We think that a challenging antitrust regulatory environment is the biggest factor weighing on M&A," Matson wrote in the June 30 report, which also cites high-interest rates and continued economic uncertainty as factors behind the trend.

Earlier this year, Boston Scientific backed out of its plan to acquire a majority stake in M.I. Tech, a Korean surgical tools company, for $230 million. The Marlborough, MA-based company said it backed out of the deal because of an inability to obtain required global regulatory approvals in some countries.

However, not all companies heed FTC scrutiny. Illumina, a gene sequencing specialist, went on to complete its acquisition of Grail despite anti-trust concerns. The result set off a wild chain of events that indirectly caused a proxy battle and Illumina’s CEO stepping down.

About the Author(s)

Omar Ford

Omar Ford is MD+DI's Editor-in-Chief. You can reach him at [email protected].


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