GE Healthcare snaps up surgical visualization company BK Medical for $1.45B

GE Healthcare announced Thursday it has entered into an agreement to acquire surgical visualization company BK Medical for $1.45 billion in cash.

BK Medical provides ultrasound technology that can be used during surgery to guide clinicians. The companies expect the deal to close in 2022, pending regulatory review. 

“We are immensely proud of the organization and of the life-changing technology that we have built at BK Medical, and look forward to our future as part of the GE Healthcare family. Combining our expertise in intraoperative imaging and surgical navigation with GE Healthcare’s many strengths and global presence will accelerate our mission to change the standard of care in surgical interventions,” BK Medical President and CEO Brooks West said in a statement.

“Our mission to help surgeons make critical decisions using active imaging aligns well with GE Healthcare’s mission to help physicians make more informed decisions and improve patient outcomes, and we are eager to begin this new chapter.”

WHY IT MATTERS

GE said the acquisition will help its $3 billion ultrasound business expand from diagnostics into the surgical space.

“Ultrasound today forms an integral part of many care pathways, and BK Medical is a strategic and highly complementary addition to our growing and profitable ultrasound business,” GE Healthcare President and CEO Kieran Murphy said in a statement. This transaction helps GE Healthcare continue to expand beyond diagnostics into surgical and therapeutic interventions, simplifying decision-making for clinicians and equipping them with greater insights to deliver faster, more personalized care for their patients representing another step toward delivering precision health.” 

THE LARGER TREND

Reuters reported the deal marked the largest acquisition since GE CEO Larry Culp took over in 2018, as he has mostly focused on paying down debt. 

In March, GE Healthcare revealed its first wireless, portable ultrasound device, the Vscan Air.

Earlier this year, GE Healthcare announced the acquisition of Zionexa, a developer of in-vivo biomarkers to guide cancer treatment, and in late 2020 the company said it was acquiring Swedish X-ray imaging startup Prismatic Sensors.

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