Olivier Garnier, founder and managing partner of Bryan, Garnier & Co., and Khaled Bahi, Chief Financial Officer of Symetis, presented the acquisition of Symetis, the third largest player in the European market for transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), by Boston Scientific.
Since its introduction in 2002 as a new ground-breaking procedure, TAVI has grown to become a $2.3 billion market with the expectation that it will increase to approximately $4 billion by 2020. Given the only alternative to treating Severe Aortic Stenosis (which affects 2 percent of the world population over the age of 65) is long and highly invasive open-heart surgery with general anaesthesia, it is not difficult to see why a procedure that requires only local anaesthesia and can be completed in 45 minutes would see such significant market growth.
Despite a first attempt at an IPO being withdrawn, pursuing a dual track IPO and trade sale allowed Symetis to capitalise on its strong market position and significant potential for growth. Messrs. Garnier and Bahi highlighted the effectiveness of this strategy, beginning in October 2016 with the restart of the IPO, the success of which forced Boston Scientific to react and acquire its former competitor.
The strategy did require a significant amount of hard work that ran until the last minute, with the acquisition limited to a 14 day timetable. This encompassed due diligence (including of a manufacturing plant in Brazil), negotiating SPAs with both the Brazilian contractor and Symetis itself, planning the spin-off of MPM Inc., and collecting 90 percent of shareholder signatures, all while maintaining confidentiality and running the IPO. Despite these obstacles, the deal closed before the deadline, with just one minute remaining. While certainly stressful, the success within this limited time-frame demonstrates that M&A does not necessarily need to be a complicated, months-long process.
As Messrs. Garnier and Bahi showed, the difficulties were worth it with the success of the IPO leading Boston Scientific to offer a purchase price 76 percent greater than the midpoint pre-money valuation at IPO. The lessons learned from the acquisition of Symetis clearly show that IPO can be a credible exit solution as part of both a standalone and a dual track strategy.
Left side and image (2/3): Olivier Garnier, Bryan, Garnier & Co.; right side and image (3/3): Khaled Bahi, Symetis SA