For Immediate Release


Published on Tuesday, April 14, 1998

1998 The Press Democrat
By Bleys W. Rose
Staff Writer

Arterial Vascular Engineering Inc., a Santa Rosa manufacturer of coronary stents for treatment of cardiovascular disease, announced Monday it is buying a Florida company that produces medical devices for treating diseased abdominal arteries.
The agreement to purchase World Medical Manufacturing Corp. of Sunrise, Fla., represents the Santa Rosa company's first move into a line of medical devices other than coronary stents.

World Medical designs and manufactures devices that combine stent-like technology with special material for patients with diseased abdominal arteries. AVE's products are primarily stents, or tiny devices, that give cardiologists a less expensive alternative to heart surgery and repairing damaged arteries near the heart.

The transaction, in which the owners of privately held World Medical will receive AVE stock, was valued at $62 million.
``The acquisition of World Medical represents a significant step in developing our business outside of coronary stents,'' said Bob Lashinski, AVE's vice president of business development. ``AVE and World Medical share a vision of providing the best available technology to persons suffering from various forms of cardiovascular disease.'' Lashinski credited World Medical with building a strong reputation among physicians for the quality of its devices that treat abdominal aortic aneurysms, known as AAA.
AVE, a leading provider of highly specialized devices for treatment of cardiovascular disease, is licensed to market its stent and balloon angioplasty systems in more than 40 countries.  Lashinski said the combination of World Medical's experience in abdominal aortic aneurysm devices and AVE's experience in developing new cardiovascular markets ``should create a powerful catalyst for market growth.''

Industry observers say the cardiovascular treatment market may be worth about $400 million worldwide and say it is growing rapidly. World Medical's system for treating a variety of aneurysms is sold in selected countries and is in clinical trials in the United States. It also markets a line of cardiovascular catheters and is developing other medical devices for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

In eight years, AVE has grown into a multi-national manufacturer with close to 1,000 employees, most of them at corporate headquarters in Fountaingrove.  AVE expects to complete the deal in July. Under the agreement announced Monday, World Medical would become a wholly owned subsidiary of AVE.  AVE stock stood at $35.88 a share when the market closed Thursday for the holiday. It closed at $36.50 on Monday. For the six months ended Dec. 31, AVE posted revenue of $64.6 million. AVE expects to incur a significant one-time charge related to the purchase, largely as a write-off of pending research and development.


AVE Headquarters Entrance
Howard Leonhard at AVE Headquarters in Santa Rosa, California


AVE Headquarters View
AVE Headquarters


AVE Headquarters View
AVE Headquarters

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