Smith & Nephew PLC (LON:SN.) shares edged higher on Tuesday following news it has agreed to acquire Atracsys Sàrl, a Switzerland-based provider of optical tracking technology used in computer-assisted surgery for an undisclosed sum.
The FTSE 100-listed global medical technology business said Atracsys' fusionTrack 500 optical tracking camera will be a core enabling technology for its multi-asset digital surgery and robotic ecosystem, including initially in its next-generation robotics platform due for commercial release in 2020.
READ: Smith & Nephew slips as ShoreCap starts coverage with ‘sell’ rating, thinks valuation looks stretched
The group pointed out that the fusionTrack 500 offers superior measurement speed and latency performance, supporting reduced procedure times, as well as increased accuracy resulting in finer precision surgical tasks, such as bone cuts, compared to existing tracking technology.
The company added that Atracsys' portfolio includes open platform optical navigation and robotic tracking components with applications in orthopaedics, neurosurgery, spine and dental, and it plans for the business to continue serving these markets.
Skip Kiil, Global President of Orthopaedics at Smith & Nephew, commented: “The promise of computer assisted surgery with robotics is to provide faster, more accurate, reproducible results that enable surgeons to restore quality of life to more patients.”
"With the acquisition of Atracsys, we are securing what we believe to be the best-in-class position tracking technology for our next-generation robotic-assisted surgical system," he added.
The company said the acquisition is expected to complete during the third quarter of 2019.
In afternoon trading, shares in Smith & Nephew were 0.4% higher at 1,695.50p.
Has appetite for larger deals changed?
In a note to clients highlighting the latest deal, analysts at Shore Capital – which initiated coverage on Smith & Nephew shares with a ‘sell’ rating on Monday – said while the firm has a good track record in M&A, they believe the appetite for larger deals has changed.
They said: “we believe there is an increased appetite for larger transactions to bolster the top line, or to enter adjacent faster, growing markets where S&N currently doesn’t play (and where larger transactions are required to add the necessary scale in a new market).
“As such, we think there is a risk of S&N over-paying for assets, with its appetite for larger transactions demonstrably having increased, in our view.”
-- Adds share price, analyst comment --