CardioTech International Inc. will purchase specialty polyurethane maker Tyndale-Plains Hunter Ltd. for close to $1.1 million in a cash and stock transaction.
The company expected to complete the deal by late June or early July, said CardioTech operations director John A. Hudson.
Princeton, N.J.-based TPH manufactures hydrophilic PU, ``which is very unique to the industry,'' he said.
``It's a material that can be processed on conventional equipment, such as extrusion or injection molding,'' he said.
TPH's hydrophilic PU is used to provide permanent lubricity to the surfaces of medical devices, serve as drug-delivery systems, or to improve blood compatibility. The material also can be used for some personal-care products, Hudson said.
TPH had 1998 sales of about $600,000. It employs four, most of whom will remain on after the transaction is completed, he said. TPH's operation will be moved to CardioTech's 15,000-square-foot headquarters and plant in Woburn, Mass., which currently has a work force of 12.
TPH will be part of CT Biomaterials, a division of CardioTech. CT Biomaterials is a specialty materials and technology supplier to the medical industry that acts as a research arm for medical product companies, Hudson said.
The acquisition ``is a strategic fit for us because of TPH's unique technology,'' he said.
``It's ideal because we have a wide variety of polyurethane technologies.''
CardioTech designs and manufactures implantable, PU-based vascular graft devices and medical-grade thermoplastic PUs.
In 1998, it unveiled what it claimed were two breakthrough products: a vascular access graft and a graft used on diabetics with lower leg problems caused by impaired circulation.
The vascular access graft was tested in Europe during the past year and CardioTech expects it to be on the U.S. market by early 2000.
``It's a polyurethane product that will have a major impact in the medical field,'' said Michael Szycher, chief executive officer and president .
The graft used for diabetics — which ``is the closest thing to a normal artery available,'' according to Szycher — is ready for tests in Europe and, if successful, could be in the United States by the early 2000s.
CardioTech was founded in 1993 and spun off from then-parent PolyMedica Industries Inc. in 1996. Early that year, the company created a line of catheters and vascular products made from Chrono-Flex-brand TPU that became the firm's base products.
While it has yet to realize a profit, principally because of new product testing, it has seen a steady rise in sales, Szycher said earlier this year. However, he did not divulge current sales figures, saying only that U.S. sales were about $1.3 million in 1998 and that European sales could range from $500,000 to $1.5 million this year.
In addition to its Woburn site, CardioTech has a 10,800-square-foot plant in Brymbo, Wales, that principally serves the European market. The Brymbo facility replaced a 3,300-square-foot plant in Tarvin, England, in early 1999.