Apparently Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) sees twice as much value in this market. Yesterday the medical device maker went for not one, but two acquisitions.

Actually, the company can thank the weak IPO market for the opportunity to buy CoreValve and Ventor Technologies. The companies, which both make systems to replace heart valves, are private venture-backed companies that decided to be acquired rather than go public in an iffy environment. Besides Bristol-Myers Squibb's (NYSE:BMY) spinoff of Mead Johnson Nutrition (NYSE:MJN), the IPO market has been pretty quiet lately.

Medtronic is paying a little over $1 billion for the pair, although the price tag for CoreValve could go higher if the company reaches "agreed milestones." CoreValve's system allows doctors to replace heart valves by entering an artery in the groin, while Ventor's transcatheter heart-valve technology allows valve changes in patients who are too frail to undergo standard open-heart surgery. Cool stuff, to say the least.

The problem for investors is that, because the companies are private, it's very hard to determine if Medtronic got a good deal or not. Medtronic did hedge its bet by including two $75 million milestone payments to CoreValve's former owners. One is tied to the FDA signing off on the product and the other to reaching $150 million in sales by the end of next year.

Still, combining the two purchases should help Medtronic compete with heart-valve specialist Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW) and, more importantly, the additional products should help Medtronic diversify even more. The company has seen a lot of competition in the drug-eluting stent market, where it competes with Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT) and Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX). Plus, there's fierce competition from St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) and Boston Scientific in the implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) market. Tuck-in acquisitions in other areas are a good move to help buffer against potential issues.

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Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. The Fool has a disclosure policy.