UK firm to buy ArthroCare for $1.7B

Maker of surgical instruments to pay $30M fine in fraud case

Smith & Nephew, a London-based medical technology business, announced plans to buy ArthroCare Corp. for

$1.7 billion Feb. 3.

Smith & Nephew would buy the West William Cannon Drive–based surgical instruments company for $48.25 per share. The purchase must be authorized by ArthroCare's shareholders.

In a news release, Smith & Nephew CEO Olivier Bohuon said the acquisition was "a compelling opportunity to add ArthroCare's technology and highly complementary projects to further strengthen our sports medicine business."

In the statement, ArthroCare President/CEO David Fitzgerald said the two companies "know each other well from our licensing and supply arrangements, and this is a natural transaction for both companies."

Smith & Nephew hopes to complete the transaction by the middle of this year, according to the statement.

In January, ArthroCare entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to resolve allegations of fraud from 2008.

"... ArthroCare has agreed to pay a

$30 million fine to the DOJ and to maintain a compliance program meeting certain criteria specified in the [deferred prosecution agreement]," according to the company. It must report to the DOJ on its compliance program.

Calls to ArthroCare seeking comment were not returned by press time.