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Orthofix To Acquire Privately Held Spinal Implant Firm In $333M Deal

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HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — Orthofix International

, a developer of spine stimulation technology, is acquiring Blackstone Medical, a provider of spinal implant and biologic company, in a deal worth $333 million in cash.

Blackstone, which is privately held, has operations in Massachusetts and New Jersey.

Orthofix (Nasdaq: OFIX) said in a statement that the combined company would produce $260 million in revenues in 2007. Orthofix stock traded down 2 cents in early afternoon trading at $39.97.

Blackstone focuses on the design, development and marketing of spinal implant and related biologic products.

Orthofix offers minimally invasive surgical and non-surgical products for the spine, reconstruction, and trauma markets.

"This acquisition is a transformational event for Orthofix, and a major step in our strategy, as it establishes a solid platform for accelerated sales and earnings expansion in the fastest growing segment of the orthopedics industry," said Alan Milinazzo, chief executive officer of Orthofix. "Our robust distribution channels give us the opportunity to significantly expand the availability of Blackstone's unique product portfolio around the world."

Blackstone has launched 14 products over the past two years. The company had sales of $22 million and a profit of $1.2 million in net income for the most recent quarter ending June 30.

Among its products is a stem cell-based biologic bone growth product.

Orthofix received Food and Drug Administration approval for its cervical spine stimulator in 2005.

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