Boston Scientific May Sell Endosurgery Unit Stake

Boston Scientific, saddled with debt and a depressed share price since buying Guidant last year, said on Monday it may sell a minority stake in its endosurgery business for more than $1 billion in a public offering.

Boston Scientific said it would use the proceeds from the sale of the stake to pay down debt. The endosurgery business makes endoscopy, urology, gynecology and oncology products.

The company, which acquired Guidantin April 2006 for $27 billion, has net debt of $7.2 billion.

The endosurgery unit is expected to generate more than $1.4 billion in revenue in 2007.


"We don't get credit for it. It's just buried in the cardiovascular company," Boston Scientific Chief Executive Jim Tobin said in an interview.

Boston Scientific, whose biggest products are stents to treat clogged arteries and implantable defibrillators to correct irregular heart rhythms, said it is looking at selling about a 20% interest in the unit, which would remain a majority owned subsidiary.

The endosurgery business generates about 16% of overall company sales and has historic compound annual sales growth of 12%.

"I don't see any reason why it can't continue to do that," Tobin said.