Boston Scientific buying British health care firm for $4.2 billion

Bloomberg News

Boston Scientific has made another acquisition.

The Marlborough-based medical device maker said Tuesday that it will pay $4.2 billion to buy BTG plc, a British health care company that makes products used in minimally invasive procedures to treat cancer and vascular diseases.

The deal is Boston Scientific’s ninth this year and far and away the biggest, according to a company spokeswoman.

Mike Mahoney, CEO of Boston Scientific, said BTG “will augment our capabilities in important areas of unmet need such as cancer and pulmonary embolism.” The latter is a blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries in the lungs.

“We are confident that the addition of these therapies to our portfolio will ultimately advance patient care in ways that could not be realized by either company alone, while also allowing us to realize substantial revenue and cost synergies and provide a strong return for investors,” Mahoney said.


BTG’s products include tiny glass “microspheres” that deliver targeted radiation doses in the treatment of cancer.

The company has a particular focus on liver and kidney cancer. More than 840,000 people are expected to be diagnosed with liver cancer in 2018, and that number is expected to grow to 1.1 million by 2030. Kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers in both men and women.

BTG also makes filters, catheters, and products used in the treatment of pulmonary embolisms, a common complication of hospitalization and a leading cause of preventable hospital deaths.

“The combined organization will be well positioned for success, enabling our valuable products to make a real difference to more people around the world,” said Dame Louise Makin, chief executive of BTG.

Following the announcement, shares of BTG on the London Stock Exchange rose more than 35 percent to 832 pence, their highest level since January 2015.

Shareholders of Boston Scientific were less enthusiastic, with share prices on the New York Stock Exchange falling more than 3 percent to $34.16 by late Tuesday morning, on a day when US financial markets were off sharply.


The deal follows one in September when Boston Scientific said it would pay $500 million up front for Augmenix Inc., a privately held Bedford company that makes an injectable gel to reduce the side effects of radiation treatment for prostate cancer. Boston Scientific will pay up to $100 million more depending on sales of the product Augmenix makes, SpaceOAR hydrogel.

The purchase of BTG has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of Boston Scientific and BTG and is expected to close in the first half of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals and the approval of BTG shareholders.

Jonathan Saltzman can be reached at jsaltzman@globe.com