Utah Medical Products Inc. paid $8 million for an Oregon processor that is one of the largest manufacturers of vacuum-assisted obstetrical equipment.
The purchase of Columbia Medical Inc. of Redmond, Ore., gives Utah Medical about 50 percent of that market, and responds to increasing pressure from health-care groups looking to deal with fewer suppliers, officials said.
Columbia's sole manufacturing plant is a 20,000-square-foot facility with eight injection molding machines. Half of those machines process plastics, mainly polycarbonates, and half run silicone. The facility also does subcontract injection molding.
The immediate growth for the vacuum-assisted birth equipment will be overseas, though opportunities exist in the United States to take business from other manufacturers and grow the market as more physicians switch from forceps to vacuum products, said Paul Richins, Utah chief administrative officer.
About 8-10 percent of U.S. births now use vacuum assistance, and 5-7 percent use forceps, Utah officials said.
Columbia has about $4 million a year in sales, but was relying entirely on dealers to sell its products, said Richard Cooper, general manager.
The Oregon firm did not have an international sales presence and will use Utah's distributors outside the United States and direct-sales force inside the country.
None of Columbia's 45 employees will be laid off, he said.
Columbia also has a line of urology devices. Midvale, Utah-based Utah Medical makes monitoring devices for patients in critical care, labor and delivery, and other obstetric products. The firm has manufacturing facilities in Utah and Ireland.