US FTC asks Stryker to divest some assets to acquire Wright Medical

4 November 2020 (Last Updated November 4th, 2020 10:31)

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has granted approval to medical device maker Stryker to acquire Wright Medical Group on condition that some of the Stryker’s assets will be divested to preserve competition.

US FTC asks Stryker to divest some assets to acquire Wright Medical
Stryker’s total ankle replacements and finger joint implant assets will be divested to DJO Global. Credit: Sundry Photography.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has granted approval to medical device maker Stryker to acquire Wright Medical Group on condition that some of the Stryker’s assets will be divested to preserve competition.

In November last year, Stryker entered an agreement to acquire 100% of the issued and outstanding shares of Wright Medical Group for $30.75 per share or an equity deal valued approximately $4bn.

According to the consent agreement, the companies will be required to divest Stryker’s businesses that manufacture total ankle replacements and finger joint implant products to DJO Global.

It will enable DJO Global to act as an independent, viable, and effective competitor in these markets.

According to the FTC’s complaint, the acquisition can cause substantial competitive harm to consumers in the US markets for total ankle replacements and finger joint implants.

Since Wright and Stryker are major suppliers in these markets, their merger will enable the combined company to exercise unilateral market power, resulting in less innovation and higher prices.

Total ankle replacements are used to treat end-stage ankle arthritis, reducing pain while maintaining or increasing ankle motion.

Finger joint implants have been designed to treat advanced osteoarthritis in the hand when invasive options prove unsuccessful.

With a reputable track record in the medical device industry, US-based DJO Global will be able to restore the competition in the market that otherwise would be lost through the acquisition.

According to the proposed order, Stryker will have to supply DJO Global with transition assistance.

The company will also serve as an intermediary supplier until DJO Global receives approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be the legal manufacturer of the divested products.