Lumenis Partnering With Boston on Gastro Devices

Four years after delisting, the company is mulling a comeback to the capital market.

Lumenis is leaping into laser technology for gastroenterology, together with Boston Scientific, a major player in the medical device field.

In 2009 Lumenis, which is controlled by Ofer Hi-Tech (36.4% ) and LM Partners (45.1% ), regained profitability. The company, which focuses on laser technology for medical and cosmetic uses, has signed a marketing agreement with the endoscopy division of Boston Scientific.

The U.S. company will serve as exclusive marketer in the United States for Lumenis technologies, including the SlimLine GI, a device for exploring the intestinal tract. The device has been adapted to work with Boston Scientific's existing imaging systems. Another Lumenis system to be handled by Boston is the VersaPulse Holmium Laser, used to treat stones in the urinary tract.

Regarding its medical laser technology, Lumenis these days is focusing mainly on devices for the urinary tract and nose, ear and throat surgery, says Dov Ofer, who joined the company as CEO in 2007. But it realized the potential in laser technology for gastrointestinal surgical procedures, for instance operations involving the liver and intestinal systems. Its technology for these applications have been successfully tested in Israel and elsewhere, Ofer added.

Boston Scientific is a world leader in the gastro field, said Ofer, and decided to use the Israeli company's technology in its devices. He declined to discuss the company's timeline or to mention how much the deal might be worth, saying only that Lumenis sees great potential in the union with Boston Scientific.

In April 2010, rumors circulated that Lumenis was heading back to the stock market. It does plan to, at some point.

"We do not hide our intention of returning to the capital market at the right time and raising more money for Lumenis," Ofer said.

The company is very much planning that, he said, but its timing depends on the prevailing conditions in the market. If the conditions are right in 2011, then it will hold an offering this year, he said.

Lumenis reports its results to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission once a year. Its report for 2010 should be out in a matter of months: Ofer promised that after a return to the black in 2009, the results for last year would be even better.

In July 2009, Lumenis raised $15 million from its existing shareholders and from a new one, Agate Medical Investments, an Israeli fund that targets advanced medical technology companies.

Lumenis was delisted from Nasdaq after failing to file its financial statements for two years. Its stock moved to the pink sheets and was finally delisted entirely four years ago after reaching an arrangement with the SEC about irregularities in its statements. Shareholders from the general public still own 15% of its stock, which is not liquid: It cannot be sold on an exchange.

For the year 2009, Lumenis reported revenues of $226.1 million. The company said its gross margin ran at 48% of revenues, which it said was a 500 basis point increase compared with the year 2008. Net profit by general accounting rules came to $1.7 million, while ex-items, its profit came to $7.3 million, Lumenis said in its report for the year.