MicroPort Ortho’s Mid-Sized Play in a Changing Orthopedics World

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MicroPort Ortho is a moderately-sized, focused player in the consolidated world of orthopedics, where large healthcare systems increasingly contract with a limited number of full-service vendors, but the growth of ASCs and desire for customized solutions in some quarters may provide it with new opportunities.

In January 2014, MicroPort Scientific Corp. paid $290 million to acquire Wright Medical Group’s hip and knee implant business and established MicroPort Orthopedics Inc., with a headquarters in Arlington, TN. (See “MicroPort Orthopedics: Is This the Beginning of a Global Chinese Medtech Industry?” Medtech Strategist, January 17, 2018.)

At the time, MicroPort leaders saw the Wright business as an opportunity gain a global footprint in the total joint replacement (TJR) market and turn around an under-invested cash-generating asset that was being used to fund Wright’s faster-growing extremity business, which Stryker Corp. eventually bought in 2020 for approximately $4 billion.

Wright’s reconstructive orthopedics business was ranked sixth largest in a global market worth $19.5 billion. In a consolidated orthopedics world, however, making inroads into high-volume, large healthcare systems has been tough for all but the top players, four of which have more than 70% market share. COVID-19 compounded the problem last year, when elective surgeries, which constitute the bulk of reconstructive ortho cases, ground to a halt.

Now, the tables may be turning, with an opening for small to midsized companies like MicroPort, DJO LLC, or Aesculap Inc. to get in the door of ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), which are growing in size and numbers, as procedures migrate from hospitals to free-standing outpatient facilities.


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