Cardinal tries to draw a line under Cordis calamity

Cardinal Health bought the interventional vascular devices maker Cordis six years ago for around $1.9bn, and has probably regretted it ever since. The list of problems incurred over the years is extensive, including anaemic sales growth, a costly and unwieldy integration programme and inventory write-downs leading to more than $1bn of charges. There are also product liability lawsuits relating to two inferior vena cava filters. Even confirmation of Cordis’s sale to private equity last week came with a sting in the tail: Cardinal has received a subpoena from the SEC as part of an investigation into documents from 2015 to 2019 related to inventory in the Cordis business and other matters. A group of private equity firms lead by Hellman & Friedman is paying $1bn for Cordis, although any liabilities that arise from the vena cava lawsuits stay with Cardinal. Incredibly, the costs to Cardinal do not end here: the company projected costs related to the divestiture of up to $125m this year and in 2022. With the vena cava lawsuits far from being wrapped up, the legacy of the Cordis acquisition could be felt for even longer.

Cordis M&A history 
March 2021 Cardinal Health sells Cordis to H&F private equity for $1bn 
October 2015 J&J sells Cordis to Cardinal for $1.9bn 
1996 Cordis acquired by J&J for $1.8bn 

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