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China's MicroPort acquires minority stake in device maker Lombard Medical

Shanghai-based MicroPort Scientific Corp. invested $15 million in the common stock and convertible debt of fellow medical device maker Lombard Medical Inc. in return for exclusive marketing rights for two of Lombard's devices to treat abdominal aortic aneurysms in Brazil and China.

MicroPort purchased Lombard's common stock worth $5 million at 62 cents per share, giving MicroPort a 29% stake in the Oxfordshire, U.K.-based company. In addition, MicroPort received a five-year $10 million unsecured interest bearing promissory note issued by Lombard Medical. It is convertible to Lombard Medical stock at a price of 90 cents per share any time prior to maturity, according to a Dec. 19 release.

MicroPort will also receive a technology license to manufacture Lombard's Aorfix and Altura stent grafts in China. Two of its representatives will serve on Lombard Medical's board of five nonexecutive directors.

Abdominal aortic aneurysms occur when a portion of the aorta, the major blood vessel that runs from the heart to the abdomen, becomes enlarged. Minimally invasive implantation of stent grafts into the aorta reinforce the walls of the blood vessel so that the enlarged portion does not rupture. A ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm results in death 80% of the time, according to the federal U.S. National Library of Medicine.