The Bear Hug What was CryoLife to do? Its two unsolicited bids were rejected. Its lawsuit was unraveling. Of course, it could just live with its original distribution agreement. Instead, on January 13, 2010, CryoLife CEO Steve Anderson informed Medafor that his company had bought 1.6 million Medafor shares amounting to $3.2 million and 8% of the company. They also sent a letter to Medafor’s board of directors offering to purchase all of Medafor’s stock at the same $2 per share price.
Medafor responded by saying they will study the offer. CryoLife didn’t wait. One week later, Anderson sent a letter directly to Medafor’s shareholders urging them to pressure management into accepting the $2 per share bid.
It is not clear whether CryoLife and CEO Steve Anderson are really interested in a response from Medafor’s management. They’ve been turned down twice. The lawsuit failed and Medafor has apparently caught Anderson with his hands in the proverbial cookie jar (his attempt to sell MPH in Spain).
Medafor is clearly heading for the door and as fast an exit as possible. But, again, this is Steve Anderson. Anything is possible.
Biologic’s Bad Boy Minnesota gave Steve Anderson some his highest professional experiences and, most assuredly, his lowest. Anderson grew up in Minnesota and, to a large extent, is a product of the early cardiovascular industry there.
Brian Lykins also grew up in Minnesota and, in 2001, was a young 23-year-old man in need of knee surgery. His surgeon, a CryoLife customer, chose to implant one of that company’s “fresh” allograft cartilage products. Turns out the allograft was far from “fresh.” It had been harvested too long after death of the donor. It had not been tested adequately and was teeming with one of the most deadly of all bacteria—Clostridium Sordelli. Brian Lykens develop a massive infection and died shortly after his surgery.
As is often the case, when bad things happen, some people figure out how to do the right thing and others don’t. In the classic 1986 Tylenol contamination case Johnson & Johnson immediately recalled all Tylenol at tremendous cost (more than $1 billion) to the company and would not reintroduce it until it could do so safely. Anderson missed that lesson.