We were there for Integrated Medical Systems International
It’s something most of us take for granted—the assurance that if we or a loved one needs to have surgery, the surgical instruments upon which medical professionals rely are always maintained in strict accordance with industry standards. But for a company called Integrated Medical Systems International, Inc. (IMS) – founded and led by Gene Robinson and Debra Robinson, the absolute safety of surgical devices has been more than a goal or a hope. It’s been their lives’ work. Gene and Debra sold the company earlier this year with the help of Sirote & Permutt.
Over more than 20 years, they built from scratch a company whose sole focus was protecting patients through complete surgical-device care, including all aspects of the proper use, maintenance and handling of surgical and endoscopic devices for healthcare facilities. Consistently guided by the company’s prime directive, “Act as If Your Loved One is on the Table”—Gene and Debra built the Birmingham, Alabama-based company into an industry leader in the repair of surgical devices and instruments.
“Gene is a visionary, and Debra was able to help execute that vision along with a team of dedicated employees located across the nation,” says Todd Carlisle, a partner at Sirote. The firm is honored to have had IMS as a longtime client prior to the sale. “Together they built a significant company with a nationwide presence that really set the standard in the instrument-repair business. And they’ve done that without ever forgetting that their ultimate obligation is to the patient.”
A Major Decision
So when Gene and Debra began to weigh the pros and cons of selling the company, they turned to Sirote to serve as special counsel. Through long discussions with Carlisle and a team of financial advisors, they eventually decided that finding a strategic partner would best help the company achieve its long-term goals. They also relied upon Sirote’s expertise to help select an investment banking firm to find the right strategic partner, and ultimately negotiate and close the final deal. For Sirote and IMS, working together on the transaction came naturally. “We understood the objectives they were trying to achieve personally, for their families, and for the employees of the company,” Carlisle explains.
The sale was announced April 1, 2014.
Choosing the Right Buyer
Ultimately, IMS made the decision to sell to STERIS Corporation, a leader in the manufacture and sale of infection prevention and surgical products and services. IMS will be integrated into STERIS’s Specialty Services Business, continuing to operate under the IMS name with its corporate headquarters remaining in Birmingham. In fact, along with assuming the leases on IMS facilities in Florida and Maryland, STERIS purchased the 15-acre campus that IMS has been developing in Birmingham’s Sloss Business District, a project seen by community leaders as a positive part of the ongoing revitalization of an historic section of the city. “This campus, which is part of an ongoing revitalization effort, provides an excellent base for what I hope will be many years of growth, innovation and success for STERIS,” Gene says.
Carlisle agrees. “It’s significant for STERIS Corporation, which is a major public company in the healthcare industry, to have chosen to plant its flag in Birmingham through the IMS acquisition and continue to grow the business here.”
For Sirote, achieving an outcome that satisfies all of the parties involved comes from having worked with IMS to achieve the same goals that Sirote values in its own business. “I think there was a strong match in the values of the Sirote team and those of the client,” Carlisle explains. “Working on a transaction that honored the values and personal goals of the stockholders, while keeping a strong focus on serving the IMS customers and employees, was very consistent with how we think about our own business. I think that alignment is what drove our collective passion for achieving a successful transaction.”
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