CardioNet to buy Biotel, enter clinical research

By Brian Dolan
03:01 pm

This morning wireless cardiac monitoring company CardioNet announced its intent to acquire Minnesota-based Biotel for $14 million. CardioNet is particulary interested in Biotel's Agility Centralized Research Services, which is based in Chicago, and provides ECG monitoring services to the medical device and pharma industries as well as to contract research and academic research organizations.

The deal pending customer closing conditions as well as approval from Biotel's shareholders who are set to receive $4.82 per share of Biotel. Both companies' boards have approved the deal. The companies expect to close the transaction by the middle of this year.

We hear the company plans to keep Biotel's operations in Minnesota. It is likely, however, that some of Biotel's existing clients, which offer competing products to CardioNet's, won't be working with Biotel in the future if the CardioNet deal comes to fruition.

CardioNet's last big acquisition was PDSHeart in 2007. The financial terms of that deal were not disclosed but the Biotel acquisition is tiny in comparison.

If the Biotel acquisition does not mark the beginning of an acquisition spree by CardioNet, it should. The company is sitting on a fair amount of cash and remains one of the most successful IPOs in recent years. The wireless medicine market is also teeming with wireless sensor companies that are likely partners to CardioNet, which has made no secret about its plans to move beyond cardiac monitoring to tackle all of the major chronic diseases bogging down the healthcare industry in the U.S.

We hear sleep apnea and diabetes are likely to be on the top of their list.

"The acquisition of Biotel expands CardioNet's existing cardiac arrhythmia monitoring business with an experienced design and development team, as well as providing state-of-art manufacturing capabilities to support our rapidly growing business," CardioNet Chairman and CEO Randy Thurman said in a press release.


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