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PICKER INTERNATIONAL/INSTRUMENTARIUM CORP. 50/50 JOINT VENTURE

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

PICKER INTERNATIONAL/INSTRUMENTARIUM CORP. 50/50 JOINT VENTURE, Picker Nordstar, will focus on the development and manufacturing of "low cost" magnetic resonance imaging systems, Picker says in a Jan. 25 release. Under the joint venture deal, which was completed on Jan. 22, Helsinki, Finland-based Instrumentarium will "transfer all its MRI-related operations in Finland to the joint venture company," while Picker International will assume marketing responsibility for the products. The agreement provides Picker with immediate access to a low price ($850,000 list) .1 Tesla system to fill out its line of MRI devices. The product, which had been marketed by Instrumentarium as Mega4, will be sold by Picker under the trade name Merit. Noting that it already markets the .5 Tesla Asset, the 1 Tesla Vista Q, and the 1.5 Tesla Edge, Picker says that "by adding the joint venture company's products to its global portfolio, Picker International will be the only company satisfying the entire price/performance range of customer requirements in the MRI market." Picker's existing systems sell for over $2 mil. Merit will be manufactured by the joint venture company, which will be incorporated in Finland. Picker International will market the system and all future products developed by the joint venture through its 150-person U.S. sales force and its direct sales network and approximately 40 independent distributor organizations worldwide. It will market Merit exclusively except in Scandinavia and Russia, where Instrumentarium will continue distribution. The joint venture will continue another joint venture begun by Instrumentarium with Nycomed Imaging AS in 1989; the agreement was formed to develop a contrast agent for use with a low-field MR scanner.
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