Following an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), CooperCompanies has abandoned plans to acquire Cook Medical in a $875m deal.

In 2022, CooperCompanies agreed to buy Cook Medical to shore up its reproductive health range. Connecticut, US-based Cook Medical has products for in vitro fertilisation, assisted reproductive technology, and obstetrics and gynaecology. The deal involved $675m upfront, with a further $200m paid over four years. The plan was for the company to keep making its reproductive health products for CooperSurgical during a two-year transition period.

D.J. Sirota, senior vice president of Cook Medical’s MedSurg division said in a 2022 statement that the deal would offer a more complete range of solutions to patients. But the FTC said in a statement that market competition is important, and enlisted regulators in Australia and the UK to probe the deal.

The reproductive health devices global market is currently worth $3bn and is growing at a CAGR of 0.5%, according to a market analysis by GlobalData.

Cynthia Stinchcombe, medical devices analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Factors driving the growth include increasing awareness and adoption of contraceptive methods, a rise in sexually transmitted infections, and a growing demand for innovative and effective reproductive health products.

An analysis of the assisted reproductive technology market by GloblData indicates that Cook Medical and CooperSurgical are the market leaders in North America. On a global scale, they are joined by Vitrolife which has extensive market share in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions.

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FTC’s Bureau of Competition Director Holly Vedova said: “Following a full-phase investigation by FTC staff, CooperCompanies’ decision to abandon this proposed acquisition ensures that critical reproductive health markets remain competitive.”

“The FTC is committed to protecting patients from higher costs and preserving the incentive to innovate. This deal termination protects competition and is a win for patients.”

In May 2023, Cook Medical laid off around 500 of its employees.

In Q2 earnings this year, CooperCompanies announced a 6% revenue increase totalling approximately $877. The company has an outstanding debt of $2.5bn.