Monday, May 24, 2010

Summer of 2010

Recently, TSB was speaking to one of our sources only to be notified that Medtronic Sofamor Danek is planning a year end assault on the spine industry. Usually the Taliban hibernate for the winter. Their research and development team along with marketing are supposedly preparing for an autumn/winter offensive. Hopefully, they will not be received the same way that Battle Company was received in the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan. The Evil Empire has been pretty quiet. Up until recently, they were probably still licking their wounds from the ass-kicking that they took from Michelson. In fairness to the Darth Vader of the industry, their legal department probably has been evaluating all that IP, considering that they haven't done anything innovative unless you consider cosmetic surgery on the TSRH3D innovation.

Word on the street has been that Cardo Medical has performed due diligence on US Spine and
issued a letter of intent to acquire US Spine. Does anyone wonder if there is some connection between Paul Sendro and the powers to be at Cardo? Could this be another femme fatale, hypnotizing a company and its executives who have no spine experience whatsoever? At best Cardo is a "cherry" in the spine industry, meaning they need some real battle scars. Wouldn't it be better for Cardo to focus on its core business, than risk another acquisition? But what is their core business? Knees? One has to wonder if Cardo is truly interested in building a multi-dimensional company, or influencing its stock price? This is another company that cannot get out of its own way. Even if Vertebron was a steal, at best, they acquired a cervical plate because the Vertebron pedicle screw was and is a horse hobbling on three legs (hopefully they took it out to pasture and put it out of its misery), along with some mediocre IP. Whether they would know what to do with another spine acquisition is questionable at best. Hobnobbing in Beverly Hills is a lot different than running a company. Are we potentially witnessing a merger and acquisition boom in the industry? If I am US Spine, remember what Steve Miller said, "Take the money and run!!!!!!!"

Supposedly, the other rumor is that Amedica was evaluating its options for an acquisition. Yet, upon performing due diligence on multiple early growth stage companies, supposedly they decided to take a pass. With Bobby Buttrell's former ties to Feel Like a Million Lew , in all likelihood they evaluated the potential of a Custom Spine acquisition only to walk away shaking their heads. It's not a question that they weren't interested, it was probably the delusional valuation that made them laugh. You know what they say, if you drink enough of your own kool-aid or is it smoke enough of your own hookah, you start to behave like Timothy Leary. Besides, wasn't the Big A looking to utilize its silicon nitride for recon applications? If their product is that good, why waste your time in the spine sector where the market opportunities are much smaller than in general ortho?

To quote Sly Stone, "End of the Spring and here she comes back, Hi, Hi, Hi there, them Summer days, those Summer days, That's when I had most of my fun, back high, high, high high there, them summer days, those summer days." So as we approach the beginning of another summer let's see what transpires with some of these companies, help may be on its way. TSB wants to know what our readers have heard.


  1. As one of the great philosophers once said, “Don’t believe the hype”. – Flavor Flav

  2. What's the deal with always incorporating random song lyrics into these articles?

  3. Cardo definitely needs a wake up call. As you said, why not focus on whatever the core business is? Maybe its too much time on Rodeo Drive and not enough 'office and OR time'? I would assume that they can get US Spine for pennies on the dollar since that company has more fleas on it than most other ortho or spine companies out there. Then again, maybe Sendro has pictures? :)

  4. It's music that's always playing in my head.

  5. With all the kyphoplasty options coming online, can MSD afford to expand without consolidating their Kyphon market?