Valley News business journalist
Published: 10/19/2021 9:51:35 PM
Modified: 10/19/2021 9:51:40 PM
LEBANON – Simbex, a Lebanese company known for technologies that track bumps to the head of athletes in contact sports, was acquired by a San Diego company.
Founded in 2000 by Dartmouth graduate student Rick Greenwald and Hypertherm co-founder Robert Dean, Simbex was founded by Salona Medical Device Corp. acquired, a San Diego company that recently went public on the Toronto Stock Exchange to acquire medical devices and products.
The sale of Simbex is the fourth blue-ribbon company in the Upper Valley to be sold to outside investors last year, following GW Plastics in November last year, Pete & Gerrys Organic Eggs in May, and biotech startup Avitide in September.
“We have built the company aggressively over the past five years,” Greenwald said in an interview about Simbex.
He said the merger of Simbex, a company that develops medical devices, with Salona, a company that manufactures and sells them, will provide a “vertically integrated platform to accelerate our growth.”
The selling price includes an initial payment of 3.5 million cents per share, equivalent to $ 4.7 million in US dollar terms.
Simbex had sales of more than $ 8 million in 2020, Salona said in the press release announcing the acquisition.
The company is perhaps best known for its HIT system – for the Head Impact Telemetry System – which consists of wafer-thin microchip sensors placed in soccer helmets that measure the force of impacts on the head and relay the data to computers.
Simbex’s technology was later adopted by sports helmet and equipment maker Riddell, who built it into their gear – now in its third generation. The technology makes it possible to see in real time on the pitch whether a player has been hit in the head that exceeds a certain head injury threshold.
The technology is used today in hundreds of football programs at all levels across the country.
Les Cross, Chairman of Salona, said in the press release that Simbex has a strong track record of developing intellectual property and “advanced medical devices in very specific markets”.
He praised the Lebanese company’s strategy of closely licensing its technology to customers while retaining valuable rights to future applications and markets that were not yet foreseen.
“A key aspect of this acquisition is the commercialized know-how or (intellectual) property rights that Simbex retains for products in markets that do not address their customers, particularly the global health recovery medicine market that we are targeting,” said Cross.
An email to Salona for comment went unanswered.
Greenwald said he and longtime partner Jeff Chu and business development director Greg Lange have signed employment contracts and the company has signed a new “long-term” lease for its premises in the Whitman Communications building on Mechanic Street, Lebanon.
Greenwald said there are no plans by Salona to uproot the Simbex operations, which is not uncommon if the original partners sell their shares.
“It’s really important that we are rooted in the Upper Valley and plan to stay,” said Greenwald, a longtime Norwich resident who recently moved to Lebanon. “We live here in Lebanon and want to stay here in Lebanon while the city grows.”
Simbex employs 45 people, almost twice as many as in 2017. A few years ago, the company, which was founded to develop and manufacture its own devices, was expanded to include advice on the design of devices for other partners.
Greenwald said John Stephens, a minority shareholder in Simbex and who has been closely associated with the company for 20 years, will remain an advisor.
Despite the additional consideration paid to clients in the warehouse, according to Salona, Simbex must meet certain financial goals in order for them to receive them. The performance-based remuneration is referred to as an “earn-out”.
Contact John Lippman at [email protected]