Friday, July 10, 2009

Going Once! Going Twice! Sold to the Highest Bidder

Recently the SpineBlogger was at a meeting and happend to run into a few of his colleagues when the topic of discussion turned to early-growth stage companies. As we went through a list of the "who's who" of the group called "OTHERS" by industry related marketing reports, Vertebron came up.

Without knowing all the specifics, there will be an auction held in the late summer or early fall to sell off the product portfolio to the highest bidder (sound familiar IST). It is safe to say that the bankruptcy court appointed a trustee to oversee the sale of the product portfolio and IP if there is any perceived value to the buyer. If there ever was a fire sale, now would be the time to buy some product. But before you jump off the Santa Monica Pier, remember what the Bee Gees once sang, "How could love so right turn out to be so wrong?" What happened to Vertebron? This company once had the potential to set a precedent for start-up companies.

A quick snap-shot of the management team is probably the leading factor in the demise of the company. I'll spare the "Three Kings" any embarrassment by naming the co-conspirators. Then you have the human element in the company's demise GREED. On numerous occasions they had the opportunity to raise capital or even sell the company. Unfortunately, they didn't learn that your company is only worth what a potential buyer is willing to pay. So now they will find out how much money they will have lost because of this selfish and aberrant behavior.

If Cardo-Medical is still interested in buying this product line, they may have saved themselves $10-15 million. Now that's a bargain if you really believe the industry needs another Pedicle Screw, Cervical Plate and Interbody Devices. Going Once! Going Twice! Sold!!!!!!!


  1. Vertebron was a company with some potential that simply spent itself into oblivion. (IST too). The fact is that ortho/spine companies cannot party like the good old days days when pedicle screws went for $3000 apiece and VC flowed like water.

    The days of 300K base regional managers and many "consultants" with fingers in the pie are over. Vertebron (and IST) management didn't seem to get this memo and paid dearly for it.

    I hope they can raise some funds in the Chapter 7 auction, because Vertebroke's line of creditors runs deep.

  2. Yes, they have many creditors. And many good, hardworking people out of work. I hope that the 3 Stooges get theirs when the time comes. Their greed and incompetance stuck it too these employees who worked for very little pay as the company was suffering in hopes of keeping the company alive and the potential of a payoff that was on the table but rejected.

    Now we hear that Khalili, days after rejecting upwards of $20mill for the company, offered to buy it for less than $1mill. I wouldn't trust this man with Monopoly money.