August 30, 2007 — Viking Systems Inc., designer, manufacturer and marketer of high-performance laparoscopic vision systems, said it has signed a letter of intent to acquire Tuebingen Scientific Medical GmbH, a Germany-based developer of articulating surgical instrumentation for minimally invasive surgery (MIS).
Tuebingen Scientific Medical markets its instruments under the brand name Radius. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The acquisition of Tuebingen would represent a strategic shift for Viking Systems designed to significantly expand its market and accelerate the company’s revenue growth. The combination of Tuebingen’s Radius family of articulating instruments and Viking Systems’ 3D Vision Systems would provide doctors, patients and hospitals with a full solution designed specifically for complex minimally invasive surgery.
Completion of the transaction is subject to negotiation and execution of a definitive agreement, due diligence, normal and customary closing conditions, and arrangement by Viking Systems of appropriate financing. In this connection, Viking is exploring financing options and assessing its entire capital structure to determine how best to structure its balance sheet, fund the acquisition and provide sufficient operating and growth capital. This assessment process will include discussions with holders of its current debt securities and preferred stock.
“We are very excited about this opportunity,” said Donald E. Tucker, CEO and president of Viking Systems. “Tuebingen Scientific’s line of articulating surgical instruments, combined with Viking’s 3D vision technologies, and our InfomatixT platform, will allow us the opportunity to offer a new and powerful solution set to the market. With this business combination, Viking Systems would add significant clinical value to our existing technology and offerings, as well as a new and highly synergistic revenue stream to the business. The business combination will also support our entry into new clinical markets, including: cardiovascular, cardiothoracic, and general pediatric surgery.”
“We look forward to combining the leading-edge technologies from these two companies,” said Dr. Marc Schurr, managing director of Tuebingen. “We have been working with Viking Systems for some time now, and we believe that Viking is the perfect fit for our combined technologies. From a strategic standpoint, both companies share a common mission of serving the unique needs of advanced minimally invasive surgery.”
He said Viking offers to Tuebingen a total product platform with Radius instrumentation that will dramatically enhance the physician’s skill and dexterity in complex maneuvers.
In a May 2007 study by the Cleveland Clinic, the combination of 3D vision and articulating instrumentation increased the precision and performance of all surgeons, regardless of their level of expertise, and the combination of the two technologies enabled surgeons to perform suturing tasks better than either technology singularly.
The company expects to complete a definitive agreement, the funding and the acquisition by the end of the year.
For more information: www.VikingSystems.com