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Centerpulse seeks buyer for non-core divisions

Centerpulse wants to focus more on its core businesses, such as hip and knee implants


Centerpulse, formerly known as Sulzer Medica, plans to shed its cardiac and vascular divisions in order to narrow its focus.

On Wednesday the Zurich-based medical devices company said it wanted to concentrate on its core activities of orthopaedic, spine and dental implants and biologics.

In a statement, the company reassured the 960 employees of the two divisions that they would be able to continue to work without disruption during the sale process.

Centerpulse has appointed the Lehman Brothers investment bank to manage the sale of the two divisions, which make heart valves and products for the treatment of vascular obstructions and diseases.

Centerpulse said it would not comment on timing or other aspects of the process until a deal is announced.

Focus on implants

After the sale the company will solely focus on its core business of hip, knee, spine and dental implants and instrumentation.

The company is sticking to its implant business despite having to fork out some $725 million to settle a class action lawsuit in the United States brought by thousands of patients who received faulty hip and knee implants.

Centerpulse's former parent company Sulzer also contributed to the $1 billion settlement, which was concluded on May 31, and prevented the company from filing for Chapter 11 (protection from creditors) in the US.

Under the terms of the settlement, Centerpulse will pay an average of $200,000 to over 3,000 patients who received the defective hip and knee implants and had to undergo revision surgery.

swissinfo with agencies

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