Safeskin Corp. has signed a letter of intent to buy the assets of Tactyl Technologies Inc., a Vista, Calif., maker of thermoplastic elastomer medical gloves.
Safeskin in February agreed to pay $14 million for Tactyl, plus as much as $5 million more if the glove maker achieves undisclosed sales and performance targets.
The deal includes the Vista plant's production equipment, customer lists, patents, intellectual property rights, and raw material and finished goods inventories, said Mark Francois, Safeskin director of investor relations.
Safeskin will operate Tactyl as a division. No major changes — management or otherwise — currently are planned for the Tactyl glove operation, Francois said.
Tactyl employs about 50. Francois declined to elaborate further on the purchase agreement, Tactyl's sales, or Safeskin's plans for the TPE maker. He said publicly held Safeskin is bound by confidentiality and disclosure laws.
Safeskin expects Tactyl, which holds more than a 50 percent share of the synthetic rubber surgical glove market, to have a positive impact on the San Diego firm's earnings beginning in 1997, Francois said.
``I would say the reason for purchasing Tactyl was their use of synthetic materials,'' Francois said. ``There are more and more people out there that just won't use latex gloves. The synthetic area of the surgical glove business has been one of the fastest-growing markets.''
Officials from Tactyl could not be reached for comment.
Tactyl makes gloves from a proprietary TPE called Tactylon, which was developed for health-care professionals and patients who are sensitive to latex.
Safeskin last year made $23.6 million on sales of $146 million. Founded in 1988, the firm has averaged annual sales growth of 55 percent the past five years.
The company produces disposable exam gloves primarily for the medical, dental, high-technology and scientific sectors. Although Safeskin serves the U.S. market, its glove factories are in Malaysia and Thailand.