Cardinal Health announced today a definitive agreement to acquire VIASYS for $1.5 billion, including the assumption of outstanding debt. Cardinal will make a cash tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of VIASYS common stock at a price of $42.75 per share. (Press release)

 With 2006 revenue of $610 million, VIASYS is a leader in respiratory care, developing and marketing systems for critical care and diagnostic use. VIASYS is also a leader in neurological, audio and vascular diagnostics, disposable medical products used in surgical procedures and enteral feeding, orthopedic implant manufacturing and clinical services.

The acquisition will expand Cardinal Health’s clinical and medical product offerings for global, acute-care customers and, combined with its complementary respiratory products business, will establish the company as a leader in the more than $4 billion respiratory care market.


The acquisition will also provide a range of complementary products to Cardinal Health’s medical disposables business and will leverage its integrated hospital selling organization in the U.S. Worldwide, VIASYS has more than 7,000 hospital customers in 100 countries and generates 40 percent of its revenue from customers outside the U.S., adding substantially to Cardinal Health’s international presence.

VIASYS provides more than just ventilators, including systems and disposables to diagnose and monitor sleep, lung, vascular, auditory and brain disorders. From a Bloomberg story on the acquisition:

Viasys had been on a list of companies Cardinal was interested in buying for months, Cardinal Chief Executive Officer R. Kerry Clark said today in a conference call with analysts. A month ago Cardinal began talks with Viasys, and in the last two weeks learned that another company -- which Clark didn't name -- was also aiming to acquire Viasys, forcing Cardinal to accelerate its bid.

First it was infusion pumps (Alaris), then it was point of care workflow (CareFusion), and now ventilators. What's next, buying Spacelabs? In a world of proprietary end to end solutions, one vendor offering infusion pumps, ventilators and patient monitoring would be a serious triple threat.

The state of connectivity at VIASYS is minimal at best, so Cardinal will have lots of work to pull everything together into an integrated whole - but when they do, look out.

Pictured above is VIASYS' AVEA ventilator.