Medtronic gives Titan some breathing space


Whether yesterday’s deals with Medtronic pull Titan Medical out of the pit into which it has fallen is an open question, but it does at least give the distressed robotic surgery group a leg up. The first deal will see the partners development robotic surgical tech for use in their respective businesses. Medtronic will make milestone payments totalling $31m to license Titan’s tech; one of these is dependent on Titan raising an additional $18m within the next five months. Titan has also borrowed $1.5m at 8% per annum from Medtronic, and intends to borrow more to pay legal expenses. A separate agreement is a straight-up licence under which Medtronic gains access to some of Titan’s existing tech for $10m up front. Medtronic will presumably use its new machinery or software to aid development of its Hugo surgical robot; this was also the reasoning behind its acquisition, for an undisclosed amount, of the UK group Digital Surgery in February. Titan, meanwhile, escapes having to delist from Nasdaq. Its shares rose 463% yesterday, though the market cap is still below $100m. If Titan cannot meet its obligations perhaps Medtronic will buy it up – doubtless for a knockdown price.

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