MAKO Surgical Makes One Last Move

MAKO Surgical will soon be acquired by Stryker for $30 per share, but that doesn't mean it's standing still.

Steve Symington
Steve Symington
Oct 3, 2013 at 9:40AM
Health Care

If you thought the folks at MAKO Surgical (UNKNOWN:MAKO.DL) would be resting on their laurels after last week's shocking acquisition announcement, think again.

That announcement did result in a one-day 80% pop after medical equipment giant Stryker (NYSE:SYK) agreed to buy MAKO for $30 per share in cash.

However, I was still torn over the big gain and sold my shares earlier this week, thanks primarily to the fact MAKO's growth potential as a percentage of Stryker's overall business made it a much less attractive investment for me.

One last acquisition
At the same time, that certainly doesn't mean MAKO isn't still charging full steam ahead with its plans to dominate robotically assisted orthopedic surgery.

Sure enough, on Wednesday, MAKO announced it has entered into an agreement with Pipeline Biomedical Holdings, through which it will acquire all of Pipeline's business for making orthopedic devices and related instruments for use with MAKO's RIO robotic surgery platform.

The transaction, for its part, consists of a credit for a $2.5 million down payment already made to Pipeline by MAKO, with the remainder funded by the issuance of 3,953,771 new shares of MAKO common stock, worth roughly $116.8 million based on yesterday's closing price around $29.55 per share.

Of course, this news shouldn't have come as a complete surprise considering many astute shareholders had already noticed that Stryker's acquisition announcement vaguely stated its $30 per share offer already took into account the yet-to-be-issued shares. Specifically, Stryker wrote, the shares would be issued "in connection with an anticipated acquisition which Stryker expects MAKO will consummate as part of MAKO's normal course of business."

And why not? MAKO already builds and sells its robotic surgery platform and makes money not only through maintenance agreements, but also by selling implants and instrumentation for each procedure performed. As a result, it certainly makes sense to own the business which makes those implants.

What's more, you might recall I highlighted back in March that MAKO CEO Maurice Ferre has long said he strongly believes that Pipeline's innovative implant offerings are best-in-class, which should only help to further bolster the increasingly compelling case for robotic surgery in general.

Foolish takeaway
Though I no longer own shares of MAKO Surgical and don't plan on buying Stryker stock any time in the near future, I'm still convinced the influence of MAKO's technology is set to grow by leaps and bounds. As a result, I'll definitely be putting Stryker on my watchlist to keep tabs on the industry.

But who knows? If this turns out to be as lucrative for Stryker as it obviously hopes, MAKO may indirectly find its way back into my portfolio down the road.