Acelity Sells LifeCell Tissue Repair Unit to Allergan for $2.9B

Xconomy Texas — 

San Antonio — Acelity, the San Antonio maker of wound healing technologies and tissue repair products, has sold one of its business units called LifeCell to Dublin-based biopharmaceutical company Allergan for $2.9 billion.

The sale of Acelity’s so-called regenerative medicine division, LifeCell, is an attempt by the company to focus its business on its core wound healing devices, such as pumps that use vacuum pressure to help heal hard-to-treat wounds like ulcers and traumatic injuries, president and CEO Joe Woody said in a news release. The wound devices have always been the primary driver of growth in Acelity, which was known as Kinetic Concepts until 2014. (You can read about the company’s history in this San Antonio Express-News article.)

Allergan (NYSE: AGN) wanted to buy LifeCell to add to its portfolio of medical devices and products that are also focused on helping wounded tissue regrow, particularly after plastic or reconstructive surgery, the company said in a news release. Allergan has a wide swath of pharmaceutical and aesthetic products, such as breast implants, tissue expanders, and Botox.

LifeCell sells a bevy of products used to help damaged human tissue repair or regrow. Alloderm is a product sometimes used in breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, while LifeCell’s Revolve device can use patients’ own fat in plastic or reconstructive surgical procedures, according to a news release.

Allergan has made a few other acquisitions this year, which are particularly notable because they came after its attempt to merge with Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) for some $160 billion failed. Pfizer paid Allergan $150 million in a breakup fee, and it has put that money (and other funds) to work. It paid $125 million upfront for a Washington, DC-based biotech focused on neurodegenerative disorders called Chase Pharmaceutical Corp., another $600 million upfront for Tobira Therapeutic, which is developing a drug for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and other liver diseases, and bought a stomach drug from Rhythm Pharmaceuticals for $200 million, among numerous other deals.

When Acelity was a public company in 2008, it bought LifeCell for $1.7 billion, a move that boosted the combined companies’ revenues above $2 billion. Then, in 2011, a group of private equity firms led by Apax Partners took the company private for $5 billion (the deal was worth $6.3 billion, including debt). The business rebranded itself as Acelity in 2014, which oversaw its Kinetic Concepts, LifeCell, and Systagenix Wound Management business units. Acelity tested the waters for another IPO, before calling it off earlier this month.