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Are More Medtech Firms Divesting Assets These Days?

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GE Healthcare announced it is divesting some of its molecular breast imaging assets to SmartBreast for an undisclosed sum.

Divesting assets is one of the more interesting trends that seem to be popping up in recent months. GE Healthcare contributed to this trend after it announced it was selling its molecular breast imaging (MBI) assets to Pittsburgh, PA-based SmartBreast for an undisclosed sum.

Specifically, SmartBreast will acquire the Discovery NM750b Molecular Breast Imaging MBI assets, including the MBI scanner designs, manufacturing tools, instructions, related patents, and the installed-base service business.

SmartBreast said it will rebrand the MBI Scammer as the Eve Clear Scan e750. The firm also noted it was beginning a $5 million seed financing round.

"We will become the largest global player in secondary screening and diagnostics for women with dense breasts by providing the most effective tool for locating and diagnosing cancers occult on mammography,” Dr. James Hugg, SmartBreast CEO said in a release. “We have acquired Dilon's and also GE Healthcare's MBI product lines, consolidating clinically proven reliable products with 217 installations globally. Our mission is to make MBI available to all dense breast patients woefully in need of better cancer discovery and diagnostic tools."

Late last year, LivaNova divested its heart valve business to Gyrus Capital for $73 million. The London-based company shed the unit after activist investor PrimeStone’s October 2020 letter urged the company to refocus its capital on the neuromodulation business, divest its cardiopulmonary business, and either sell or close its heart valves business.

Another notable divestiture came from Boston Scientific. The Marlborough, MA-based company announced it was selling the BTG Specialty Pharmaceuticals business for $800 million in cash to Stark International Lux S.A.R.L., and SERB SAS. The BTG Specialty Pharmaceuticals business developed antidotes used in hospitals and emergency care settings.

This was the second non-device BTG business Boston Scientific divested. Boston Scientific inherited the businesses when it acquired BTG for $4 billion. BTG was attractive because of its Interventional Medicine portfolio which encompasses several peripheral interventional product lines.

GE Healthcare began divesting assets back in 2017. At the time, executives from GE, the parent company of GE Healthcare announced a plan to divest more than $20 billion worth of assets. Some of those assets fell under the GE Healthcare umbrella. The move came after GE had abysmal 3Q17 earnings.  

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