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J&J in talks to buy Shockwave Medical: WSJ

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Johnson & Johnson is in talks to acquire Shockwave Medical, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

A deal could come in the next few weeks. However, the report noted that talks could fall through, or another company could pick up Shockwave. J&J and Shockwave both told MedTech Dive they do not comment on market rumors or speculation.

Shockwave makes medical devices that break up calcium deposits in coronary arteries using sound pressure waves, a technique called intravascular lithotripsy (IVL).

BTIG analyst Marie Thibault called out IVL as a commercial monopoly in the medical device category that could attract buyers this year, with a pickup in medtech M&A expected in general.

The WSJ report is the latest rumor of a Shockwave acquisition: Bloomberg reported last April that Boston Scientific was looking to buy Shockwave, and StreetInsider reported in May that the company was receiving attention from other suitors.

A Shockwave deal would be a second sizable acquisition for J&J in as many years, after the company shelled out $16.6 billion for heart device maker Abiomed in late 2022. Shockwave has a market cap of more than $12 billion, according to Nasdaq.

The company reported revenue of $730.2 million in 2023, year-over-year growth of 49%. Shockwave forecasts a 2024 revenue range of from $910 million to $930 million.

Leerink Partners analysts wrote in a note to investors that “we see clear rationale to support strategic interest in [Shockwave,] with the company’s best-in-class product portfolio focused on intravascular lithotripsy (IVL) helping to bolster [J&J] (or others’) presence in interventional cardio.”

Needham analysts were enthusiastic about Shockwave in a February note, writing that the company’s IVL technology increased access to treatment for calcified lesions and “opened an $8.5B+ market that is only 6% penetrated.”

Shockwave’s stock closed up 10% at $316.07 on Tuesday following the WSJ report.

Ricky Zipp

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