We all know that nothing that happened this year can really compare with Johnson & Johnson's acquisition of Synthes, which was agreed to in 2011 but finally closed in mid-2012 when J&J agreed to spin off its trauma device unit to Biomet. But nonetheless, some other interesting deals did happen throughout the year that are worth mentioning?and it's not over quite yet.
 
One of the most notable trends was US and European companies purchasing companies in the BRIC countries in an effort to expand into these fast-growing markets. Two of the most interesting acquisitions were Medtronic's purchase of China Kanghui Holdings and Straumann's purchase of a 49% stake in Neodent. China Kanghui Holdings is a major orthopedic manufacturer in China, earning approximately 7.5% of revenues in the Chinese spinal implant market and 4% in the Chinese trauma device market. Given that these two markets combined generate well more than $1.5 billion in revenues each year, this represents a major acquisition for Medtronic, which spent a cool $816 million on the purchase. Medtronic's CEO Omar Ishrak has also discussed his plans to expand in India, although we?ll have to wait to see whether the company chooses to go the acquisition route in this country.
 
Although Neodent, a dental product manufacturer, is a company that sells low-cost products almost exclusively in Latin America, the sheer volume of products it sold got it onto our list of the top ten global dental implant manufacturers in terms of revenue in 2011?a pretty impressive feat when you consider its competition includes the big names such as Straumann, Nobel Biocare, and the newly formed DENTSPLY Implants. Straumann's stake signifies the importance of this company and the Brazilian dental implant market going forward. It's worth noting that the size of the Brazilian market easily eclipses the Chinese, Indian, and Russian dental implant markets, in contrast to the orthopedic markets, where China easily generates the most revenue. Brace yourselves for more acquisitions in these countries going forward.
 
Another interesting acquisition?although it doesn?t fall into this emerging market group?is Wright Medical Technology's purchase of BioMimetic Therapeutics, planned to close in early 2013. BioMimetic is waiting on long-anticipated FDA approval for its Augment growth factor product, which is being eagerly anticipated in both Europe and the US. This deal is worth $190 million upfront and can grow to $380 million if FDA approval and certain sales goals are achieved.
 
According to Clinica, overall, it looks like there will be more medtech acquisitions in 2012 compared to 2011?in the first nine months of 2012, there were 154 medtech acquisitions compared to 130 in the same period in 2011. Clinica counted 171 total in 2011.

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