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French company to acquire Ellex assets in multi-million-dollar deal

Ellex Medical Lasers has agreed to sell its laser and ultrasound business segment to French company Lumibird Group for $100 million.

Under the terms of the 23 December deal, the European laser technology giant will acquire the Ellex brand, research and development and production site in Adelaide and Ellex’s commercial subsidiaries based in Australia, Japan, the US, France and Germany.

The transaction concerns only Ellex’s laser and ultrasound business, its largest segment that accounted for as much as 80% of its total revenue ($65.5 million in FY19).

The company will retain its iTrack minimally invasive glaucoma device and its Retinal Rejuvenation Therapy laser 2RT therapy for intermediate age-related macular degeneration.

Lumibird is headquartered in Lannion, France. It sells its laser and ultrasounds under the Quantel Medical brand and in 2018 delivered revenues of €34 million (AU$54 million). Quantel has installed more than 30,000 lasers and employs more than 140 people across 110 countries globally.

Ms Maria Maielli, CEO of Ellex, said the proposed sale, which includes state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Adelaide, highlights the value of the company brand, the dedication of its employees and the strategic importance of its global sales and distribution network.

“Lumibird will make an excellent strategic fit for Ellex’s market leading range of lasers and ultrasound to treat a range of important eye diseases,” she said.

The deal is also set to strengthen the global market coverage of Lumibird and Quantel, whose European presence will be complemented by Ellex’s established operations in Japan and the US.

Lumibird chairman and CEO Mr Marc Le Flohic added: “To truly create a difference in the lives of as many people affected by laser treatable blindness as possible, it is vital for companies such as Quantel Medical and Ellex to come together in order to reach a critical mass and make the most of their respective strengths; be that in diagnostic devices such as ultrasound or in treatments based on laser products.”

Mr Jean-Marc Gendre, CEO of Quantel Medical, said both companies know one another well, which will help facilitate the integration.

“The two companies have complementary assets, with strong brands and ophthalmic market expertise. Their alliance will enable us to offer a wider range of products across all levels of pricing in order to better meet clients’ diverse needs.”

The acquisition will be submitted to Ellex’s shareholders for approval at a general meeting during the first half of 2020, with completion to occur mid-2020.

It will be financed partly through equity and bank debt. Lumibird’s acquisition of Ellex’s laser and ultrasound activities has been approved by the boards of directors of both groups. Ellex’s board of directors has unanimously recommended shareholders approve the deal.

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Ellex in negotiations to offload lasers and ultrasound