GE Healthcare has signed an agreement to acquire surgical visualisation firm BK Medical from Altaris Capital Partners for $1.45bn in cash.

BK Medical develops intraoperative imaging and surgical navigation tools, which help guide doctors during robotic or less invasive surgical procedures.

Additionally, deep tissue can be visualised during procedures in neuro and abdominal surgery as well as in ultrasound urology.

GE Healthcare noted that the BK Medical takeover supports the expansion of its $3bn ultrasound business from diagnostics into surgical and therapeutic interventions.

GE Healthcare president and CEO Kieran Murphy said: “Ultrasound today forms an integral part of many care pathways, and BK Medical is a strategic and highly complementary addition to our growing and profitable Ultrasound business.

“This transaction helps GE Healthcare continue to expand beyond diagnostics into surgical and therapeutic interventions, simplifying decision-making for clinicians and equipping them with greater insights to deliver faster, more personalised care for their patients – representing another step toward delivering precision health.”

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The acquisition will further strengthen BK Medical, including through substantial collaborations leveraging GE’s technology and commercial scale.

Furthermore, the deal will offer BK Medical’s Active Imaging platform to new users and markets across the globe.

Merging the diagnostic imaging technology of GE with BK’s expertise in enabling decision-making and surgical visualisation is hoped to extend the care continuum.

GE Healthcare anticipates BK Medical to provide quick revenue, margin growth and increased free cash flow.

The company also estimates the acquisition to deliver a high-single-digit return on invested capital by the fifth year.

Subject to review by regulatory agencies, the acquisition is anticipated to conclude next year.

In July, GE Healthcare and SOPHiA GENETICS signed a letter of intent to work together on targeting and matching treatments that can suit individual patient’s genomic profile and cancer type.