Business Irish

Sunday 28 May 2017

'Market volatility' forces Irish medtech firm Lincor to call off Australian IPO and merger

Dan Byrne, one of the founders of Lincor, first mooted floating the company back in 2008
Dan Byrne, one of the founders of Lincor, first mooted floating the company back in 2008
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

The planned stock market flotation of Irish medtech firm Lincor has been postponed due to market turbulence.

Lincor was due to be merged with the healthcare business of Australian-listed tech company Hills and listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Now Hills has announced the plan to raise money on the public markets has been postponed "due to current market volatility". Hills shares soared around 50pc to almost 54 Australian cents when the deal was announced in September, and climbed above 70 cents in October before falling back below 45 cents.

Australian shares nosedived prior to Donald Trump's victory in the US presidential election, before rebounding in line with the rally seen on Wall St.

Hills said shareholders in both businesses "remain committed to the merger given the significant synergies available to the combined business", adding that it would look to float the merged business in 2017, subject to market conditions.

Lincor, set up by former employees of Apple's facility in Cork, makes TV-style devices to entertain patients as well as provide them with information about their treatment.

It moved its headquarters to Nashville from Ireland three years ago, after raising over €7m from venture capital firm Edison Ventures (now called Edison Partners), saying the deal would enable it to aggressively expand its presence in the United States.

Lincor was set up in 2003 by former Apple employees Pat O'Donnell, Enda Murphy and Dan Byrne. Byrne had flagged an ambition to float the company as far back as 2008.

The business Lincor is set to merge with, Hills Healthcare Solutions, makes nurse-call software as well as entertainment products.

Announcing the planned IPO in September, the companies said the money raised would "provide financial flexibility, repay debt, pay transaction costs and accelerate global growth."

"While our expanding healthcare solutions operations have the potential to become a key profit driver within Hills in coming years, the opportunities for the healthcare business and its growth potential are much greater as part of Lincor Limited on a global basis," Hills chairwoman Jennifer Hill-Ling said.

The deal followed a 2014 partnership arrangement giving Hills exclusive rights to distribute Lincor products in Australia.

Lincor boss Chris Cashwell is due to become chief executive of the new entity.

He said the deal would secure Lincor's position in a key market and would allow Lincor to "accelerate its growth in the emerging global healthcare sector for patient engagement".

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