Helix Medical buys stake in Irish medical company

Published: August 13, 2012 6:00 am ET

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Topics Medical, Mergers & Acquisitions, Injection Molding

CARPINTERIA, CALIF. (Aug. 13, 2:30 p.m. ET) — Injection molder and medical device contract manufacturer Helix Medical LLC is taking a 50 percent stake in a second Irish medical manufacturing company headed by Ireland medical entrepreneur John O’Shaugnessy.

The Carpinteria, Calif., company announced Aug. 13 that it intends to acquire a 50 percent stake in Cambus Medical, which makes high precision hypodermic tubes and micro-component solutions for advanced catheter systems at its plant in Spiddal, outside Galway.

Just two years ago, Helix acquired a 50 percent stake in Irish specialty catheter systems and extruded medical tubing manufacturer VistaMed Ltd., which is based in Carrick-on-Shannon and has two plants in Ireland. O’Shaugnessy is chairman of both companies and sold a previous medical company he founded to Abbott Laboratories in 2001.

Under the agreement, which is expected to be completed by January, Helix will invest in an expansion of the capabilities of the Cambus plant, which would expand its workforce from 50 to 85 by the end of 2013.

The plant’s current manufacturing capabilities include injection molding, EDM and ECM machining, laser precision cutting, laser welding and marking, assembly and packaging.

Helix said the partnership with Cambus Medical will allow Helix Medical to offer a full range of components and design and manufacturing services for minimally invasive surgery devices. Hypodermic tubes are a critical component of catheter systems for diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.

“Cambus adds another key technology component to our portfolio and represents an important milestone in our long-term strategy to build a comprehensive global organization that serves as a strategic partner to medical device manufacturers,” said Jorg Schneewind, president and CEO of Helix Medical, in a news release.

Helix Medical has the three manufacturing plants in Ireland, U.S. plants in Carpinteria and Baldwin Park, Calif., and Gloucester, Mass., plants in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and Shenzhen, China, as well as a $4 million medical components plant in Alajuela, Costa Rica, which opened earlier this year. That plant has a Class 8 clean room for silicone extrusion and molding and thermoplastic molding and a Class 7 clean room for assembly.

Cambus Medical, founded in 2006, develops and manufactures hypodermic tubes and catheter shafts used in angioplasty balloon catheters and stent delivery systems.

Helix Medical is part of the privately held German-based Freudenberg Group, which employs over 37,000 people in 58 countries.

Helix was formed in 1984 and bought in 2006 by Freudenberg-NOK GP, the U.S.-based joint venture of Freudenberg and Japan’s NOK Inc. Helix Medical was carved out of that joint venture and now is 100 percent owned by Freudenberg.

Freudenberg has grown through acquisitions in the medical market, starting in 2004 with its purchase of Jenline Industries Inc., a U.S. maker of liquid silicone rubber products for the medical-device and health-care markets. Freudenberg added Helix Medical in 2006, followed by Anura Plastics Engineering Corp. in 2008. The medical businesses of those U.S. companies have been integrated into one company — Carpinteria, Calif.-based Helix Medical LLC.


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Helix Medical buys stake in Irish medical company

Published: August 13, 2012 6:00 am ET

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