BioMimetic selling to Wright Medical

If business hits milestones, deal's value would swell to $380M

The board of BioMimetic Therapeutics has agreed to sell the company to a publicly traded Memphis-area peer that will bring much more distribution muscle to the table.

Wright Medical Group plans to pay $190 million in cash and stock up front for Franklin-based BioMimetic — which closed Friday trading with a market cap of $117 million — and could pay that much again in cash if regulators approve BioMimetics' Augment bone graft product and its business hits certain sales milestones in the coming years.

"We believe that Augment Bone Graft will become an important new therapeutics option to improve patient outcomes in hindfoot and ankle fusion procedures, and that Wright Medical with its leadership position in the foot and ankle market is the ideal partner to accelerate the rapid adoption of our products around the world," BioMimetic President and CEO Sam Lynch said in a release announcing the deal.

The acquisition of BioMimetic is expected to close in the first quarter. BioMimetic said a number of its key shareholders already have pledged their support for the deal with Wright Medical, which is headquartered in Arlington and has a market value of about $800 million. Wright's biologics business accounted for $69 million of its $513 million in 2011 sales but has shrunk by double-digit percentage points both this year and last.

"This transaction will significantly accelerate the continued transformation of our business as well as our strategy of building a world-class biologics platform and growing our foot and ankle business at well above market growth rates," said President and CEO Robert Palmisano. "BioMimetic’s products complement our existing biologics product portfolio, and, if approved by the FDA as we expect, Augment Bone Graft will provide us with a unique solution for the U.S. hindfoot and ankle fusion market that leverages the distribution capabilities of Wright’s dedicated foot and ankle sales organization and our physician training capabilities."

Shares of BioMimetic (Ticker: BMTI) surged more than 90 percent in pre-market trading to $8. If that accurately reflects investor sentiment — BioMimetic is very thinly traded with only about 50,000 shares changing hands daily — it suggests some people think Wright's purchase plan may draw in other bidders for BioMimetic.