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Medtronic Acquires Two for Big Bucks

In a bold (and expensive) move, Medtronic acquired two firms this week, one of which is for a record-setting sum. Medtronic has agreed to pay $700 million up front cash for CoreValve (Irvine, CA), plus two potential $75 million milestone payments. It is believed to be the largest acquisition of a venture-backed medical device maker since at least 1998, according to data from Dow Jones VentureSource.

The next-largest is the $525 million acquisition of St. Francis Medical Technologies Inc. by Kyphon Inc. in January 2007, with an additional $200 million in potential milestone payments. In addition, Medtronic also agreed to pay $325 million up-front for an Israeli company, Ventor Technologies Ltd., which had raised $17 million in venture financing. Both Ventor and CoreValve develop replacement aortic valve systems. CoreValve specializes in heart valves that don't require chest surgery for insertion.

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