Per the FTC, the merger between Wright Medical and Tornier cannot happen until the Salto Talaris Total Ankle is divested from the new companies portfolio. What looked like a great pick up for the Wright Medical extremity reps turns out to be a total bust in terms of snagging some easy ankle business. Now the question becomes who will buy it and more importantly who can Wright sell it to without shooting themselves in the foot by strengthening a competitor. This is no easy task and the management team at Wright is going to have to pull the trigger soon.
So where is it going to land? Let’s look at the contenders:
Zimmer/Biomet – Zimmer obviously has the TM lateral ankle and Biomet is due to launch there own ankle sometime in the 4th quarter of 2015. With their own deal still not done I cannot see this as a need or something with in the realm of possibility. The odds of a purchase = Not on the radar. No Chance!
Stryker – With the recent purchase of SBI and the S.T.A.R ankle it does not seem feasible or make any sense for this to happen. How would the FTC allow them to carry two ankles if that is the reason they are making Wright dump it? Bottom line, it won’t happen.
Arthrex – Never known for acquisitions this doesn’t seem like something in Reinhold’s wheelhouse. Do not see this as a priority for the team down in Naples. From a Wright perspective, this would be equivalent to arming Afghanistan. Yes they need to dump it to get the deal done, but Arthrex would be the last place I would sell it if I were Wright. With that being said, it may be a possibility.
Depuy/Synthes – With the Agility retired the Salto may fit nicely in their bag. There are probably some remaining dinosaur reps who previously covered agility who could jump right in and start covering the ankles. They have the cash and this could really help fortify there extremity bag.
Smith and Nephew – With a Stryker deal seemingly not happening anytime soon why not grab a total ankle and make a serious push in extremities. If nothing else, it would give a charge to the trauma/extremity team with a solid ankle to continue to build around.I would say this Memphis
Bottom line is that this is a no win situation for Wright Medical from a foot and ankle perspective. They are going to have to sell this prosthesis to someone and hope the Infinity will continue to gobble market share.