PVT Medical Technology Firm Sold to Edwards Lifesciences

Israeli-American Percutaneous Valve Technologies (PVT) medical technology firm is being acquired by Edwards Lifesciences Corporation (NYSE:EW), a Nasdaq listed company with a market value of $1.78 billion, which is paying a company value of $155 million for PVT.

Last week, Edwards Lifesciences agreed to buy all outstanding shares in the Caesarea-based PVT for $125 million in cash, and up another $30 million in three payments if certain performance milestones are met.

Aran R&D (TASE: ARAN) announced Monday the anticipated sale of its 5 percent stake in PVT, one of its portfolio companies. The sale should generate immediate revenues of $5.15 million for Aran, it said, and possibly another $1.45 million later on, contingent on the company's reaching specific milestones.

Aran had carried out certain projects for PVT, in exchange for which it received 406,000 shares - of which it has already sold 89,000. It also received 438,000 warrants. Aran will report a profit of $6.2 million on the deal if PVT meets all its targets. Aran's shares in Tel Aviv jumped 76 percent Monday on news of the sale. Since the beginning of 2003 Aran's shares have risen 171 percent.

Other shareholders in PVT are Israeli venture capital firm Medica (10 percent); Oxford BioScience Partners (15 percent); Boston Scientific (7 percent); Medtronic (7 percent); and the founders and employees of the firm. Medica is expected to receive $24 million, and post a $21 million profit on its original $3 million investment.

PVT has tripled in value since it last raised funds in January 2003. the company then raised $14 million, based on a value of $54 million for the entire company. PVT's first raised money in January 2001 - $5.5 million based on a company value of $15 million. Over the past three years the company's value has increased 10 times.

PVT, a privately-held medical technology firm based on Fort Lee, New Jersey, is developing a percutaneous approach for delivering heart valves to treat late-stage aortic stenosis, a narrowing of the heart valve. Its implants are designed to be minimally invasive - the surgical implant procedure is done via a main leg artery.

Finalization of the deal depends on due diligence Edwards is carrying out, and the approval of PVT's shareholders, as well as the relevant organs in the U.S. But the parties believe the acquisition can be wrapped up during the first quarter of 2004.

If Edwards backs out, it will have to pay $15 million compensation.