Contract medical device manufacturer MedSource Technologies Inc. expanded its plastic portfolio Jan. 8, buying a Georgia company that makes extremely small tubing for catheters and other interventional and minimally invasive treatments.
MedSource said it bought HV Technologies Inc., based in Trenton, Ga., for the company's proprietary dip-coating technology that lets it make tubes that are smaller and have much thinner walls than traditional technology. HVT's tubing can have diameters smaller than a human hair.
``We feel it's an enabling technology,'' said Steve Mogensen, director of sales operations with Minneapolis-based MedSource. ``We have some extrusion capabilities and grinding and coiling for wires. We have the engineering capability to design the products. This is another way to take it another step.''
HVT has fewer than 100 employees, and does not disclose sales. The firm will be run as a unit of MedSource and could be expanded, said Rudy Carlson, HVT's chairman and chief executive officer. HVT's capabilities complement the catheter manufacturing of MedSource's last acquisition, ACT Medical Inc. in Newton, Mass.
Carlson, who founded HVT in 1988, said he sold the company because the medical device manufacturing market is consolidating, and because he wants to retire. He is 72.
``The industry is moving to fewer and fewer suppliers,'' Carlson said. ``We could do OK by ourselves. We were very profitable, [but] we saw the trend for the future.''
He said medical device manufacturers may have 40 or 50 suppliers for major products, but want to trim that number. In a few years, Carlson estimated, the number of small companies making components will shrink dramatically, making it tough for companies like HVT.
MedSource also said it was attracted by HVT technology that incorporates sensors for measuring temperature and voltage directly into tubing. The technology is cheaper and more accurate than adding sensors after tubing is manufactured, Carlson said.
Adding sensors affords a key advantage to doctors, he said: ``In the long run, the key in this business is if you can do the diagnostic and the therapeutic procedure at the same time, and reduce the total cost.''
MedSource has more than 1,300 employees and more than $150 million in annual sales. The company formed in 1999 by combining seven medical device industry suppliers.
Terms of the HVT purchase were not disclosed.