Medtronic plans to spin off two of its businesses into a separate company, the latest move by the medtech giant to tighten its focus on the areas of highest growth.
With $2.2 billion in revenue, the two businesses — patient monitoring and respiratory interventions — represent about 7% of Medtronic's $31.7 billion in annual sales in its latest fiscal year.
It's the second time this year Medtronic has announced plans to offload parts of its operations.
This spinoff is the latest in an ongoing review of its businesses, with more acquisitions and divestitures possible, Medtronic Chief Executive Geoff Martha told analysts on a morning conference call.
"We remain focused on the ongoing portfolio management process and evaluating any potential additions and subtractions to our portfolio," Martha said.
Medtronic, operationally based in Fridley, expects the separation to occur within the next 12 to 18 months, pending regulatory and board approval. The company's stock closed up 0.7% on Monday.
Morningstar senior equity analyst Debbie Wang called the spinoff strategically sound in a research note Monday.
"Though Medtronic's patient monitoring and respiratory products benefited from the onset of the pandemic when pulse oximeters and ventilators were suddenly in great demand, these markets are typically slower growing," Wang said.
She added that demand for these products moving forward likely will remain soft. "Considering Martha's goal to goose growth at Medtronic, we think it makes sense to shed these two businesses."
In addition to oximeters and ventilators, the two Medtronic businesses sell a number of products, including brain monitoring devices that measure the effects of anesthesia, temperature management tools, intubation devices and tracheostomy tubes.
The move to spin off the patient monitoring and respiratory intervention businesses had been under consideration for a while, Martha said. The two businesses, he added, are not central to Medtronic's strategy.
"The businesses aren't really part of a broader therapeutic ecosystem that we're focused on. They don't have the same synergies as our other businesses do," Martha said.
In May, Medtronic announced plans to spin off its renal care business to create an independent company with DaVita Inc. The two companies will each own 50% of the new venture. In fiscal 2022, Medtronic's renal business posted revenue of $325 million, or about 1% of its overall revenue.
While spinning off some parts of the company, Medtronic also has made several recent acquisitions. In May, it completed its $1.2 billion acquisition of Intersect ENT, a maker of products for sinus procedures. In August, the company completed its $925 million deal to buy Affera Inc., a producer of a cardiac mapping and navigation platform.
In July, Medtronic set up a potential future acquisition of Israel-based CathWorks, which is developing technology for the diagnosis and treatment of coronary artery disease, for $585 million.
On Monday, Medtronic declined to specify where the spinoff will be based.
"The details of the intended separation and our approach continue to be assessed. We will continue to issue public statements leading up to the end of the intended separation, as appropriate," said Erika Winkels, a spokeswoman for Medtronic.
The two businesses in the spinoff employ about 8,000 people globally and make up a significant portion of Medtronic's respiratory, gastrointestinal and renal division that resides within its medical surgical unit. Medtronic employs more than 95,000 people worldwide.
"We do not anticipate any significant changes to day-to-day operations for the majority of our employees," Winkels said.
The separation is not expected to affect Medtronic's financial guidance for its 2023 fiscal year, which runs through the end of April, Martha said. The businesses will remain part of Medtronic through the current fiscal year.
Martha said the spinoff allows Medtronic to focus its investments on areas that better align with its long-term growth.
"The process continues," Martha said. "This is a next step. This isn't necessarily the last step."