Medtronic to acquire 2 medical device makers from venture funds

Medical equipment maker Medtronic today announced two acquisitions of heart-valve device makers in deals totaling more than $1 billion, its second and third acquisitions of venture-backed companies.

Minneapolis-based  Medtronic Inc is buying Israel-based Ventor Technologies Ltd, a developer of transcatheter heart-valve technology, for $325 million; and California's CoreValve Inc, also a maker of transcatheters, for $700 million.

The CoreValve deal, when completed, may end up as the largest buyout of a venture-backed medical-device maker in the past 10 years. It will also be the biggest deal so far for CoreValve's largest investor, Paris-based Sofinnova Partners.

In January, Medtronic had agreed to buy venture-backed Ablation Frontiers Inc, which makes medical devices used to treat irregular heart rhythms, for $225 million plus additional milestone payments.

Ventor Technologies was backed by $17 million in funding from Medtronic, Medica Venture Partners, and Pitango Venture Capital while CoreValve raised 24.5 million euros in two rounds from Apax Partners, HealthCap Investors and Sofinnova Partners before the company relocated from Paris to Irvine, California, and raised another $33 million in March 2007 from hedge fund Maverick Capital.