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In Orthopedics, Consolidation's Aftershocks

Executive Summary

Following significant consolidation in 1998, orthopedic industry executives are bracing for more deal-making. A handful of deals in 1999 suggest continued consolidation, but the modesty of the deals also implies that consolidation is unlikely at such an aggressive pace.

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J&J Strikes Again in Spine

J&J's aggressive moves in orthopedics has industry executives nervous, most recently about its purchases of artificial disk maker Waldemar Link and biomaterials expert Orquest. The Link valuation (J&J is paying $325 million upfront, plus earn-outs) isn't quite as high as some earlier orthopedics deals, but it is still comparatively substantial. With Link and Orquest under its roof, J&J is poised to assume market leadership in the traditional orthopedics markets and also in spine.

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