Orthofix International has tapped Wachovia Securities and Citigroup for a $375 million credit facility for the acquisition of Blackstone Medical. The deal consists of a six-year, $45 million revolver and a seven-year, $330 million term loan "B." Price talk for the facility is LIBOR plus 2-2 1/2% on both tranches, according to an Orthofix spokesman.
Orthofix will pay $333 million in cash for the acquisition of Blackstone Medical, utilizing $15 million of cash on hand and financing the rest with the new credit facility. Standard & Poor's rated the loan BB- with a recovery rating of 2. Moody's Investors Service downgraded Orthofix's corporate family rating one notch to Ba3 and assigned a Ba3 rating to the proposed facility.
Blackstone had been rumored to be on the block for the past year and a number of companies had taken a look, including orthopedic implant and equipment companies Stryker, Zimmer and Biomet, according to a Blackstone spokesman. "The assumption in the marketplace was that one of the big guys will be scooping us up," he said. "The spine market is the hottest orthopedic sector in the market right now." He said the buyout by Orthofix was unexpected, but that "instead of just buying us and all of us losing our jobs, the company bought us for the synergies" the two companies will have. He added that no management changes at Blackstone are expected.
Springfield, Mass.-based Blackstone, owned by three brothers, Mike, Matt and Bill Lyons, designs, develops and markets spinal implants and instruments used in spinal surgery. Netherlands-based Orthofix is a provider of pre and post-operative products to the orthopedic market.