Merit Medical Signs Agreement to Acquire Thomas Medical Products, a Unit of GE Healthcare

Merit Medical Signs Agreement to Acquire Thomas Medical Products, a Unit of GE

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah, Nov. 26, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Merit Medical Systems,
Inc. ("Merit") (Nasdaq:MMSI), a leading manufacturer and marketer of
proprietary disposable devices used primarily in cardiology, radiology and
endoscopy, today announced that it has entered into a stock purchase agreement
to acquire Thomas Medical Products, Inc. ("Thomas Medical") from GE Healthcare
in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $167 million, subject to
customary post-closing adjustments.

Thomas Medical, based in Malvern, Pennsylvania, designs and manufactures
catheter-based vascular access delivery devices for diagnostic and therapeutic
procedures in electrophysiology ("EP"), cardiac rhythm management ("CRM"),
interventional cardiology and interventional radiology applications, primarily
on an OEM basis. Merit believes Thomas Medical's products are recognized as
"gold standard" by many of the leading CRM and EP market participants. Merit
currently anticipates that during the year ending December 31, 2012 Thomas
Medical will generate revenues of approximately $37 million and have gross and
operating margins of approximately 55% and 44%, respectively, on a pro forma

Merit intends to finance the full amount of the purchase price through the
expansion of Merit's existing credit facility to $275 million, which Wells
Fargo Bank has committed to provide in a single bank transaction. Merit
expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to its net earnings on a
non-GAAP basis, adjusted for deal costs, one-time purchase accounting
directives and amortization of intangibles.Furthermore, Merit has identified
substantial growth and pull-through opportunities from the anticipated
integration of Thomas Medical's products within its existing OEM business and
capitalizing on its direct sales or dealer presence worldwide.Merit also
expects it will be able to take advantage of tax benefits with approximately
$43 million of net present value.

"We believe this transaction will help expand our market presence into new
product categories, particularly in interventional cardiology," said Fred P.
Lampropoulos, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Merit."A majority of
cardiac rhythm access procedures utilize products of the nature manufactured
by Thomas Medical.We believe substantial international expansion
opportunities exist, especially in China, Japan, Russia and the Gulf States,
as well as significant new product development opportunities based on know-how
and existing intellectual property."

"In addition, Thomas Medical has a number of existing electrophysiology
products that are distributed by the larger medical device companies, as well
as other EP products being developed," Lampropoulos continued."We believe
this segment of the business, which likewise represents potential expansion
into new product categories, has the potential to be a driver of substantial
future growth."

Tom Gentile, President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Healthcare's
Healthcare Systems division, said, "We are confident this transaction will
provide Thomas Medical new capabilities to maximize its opportunities in the
single-use vascular access product space and enable GE Healthcare's
Cardiovascular segment to remain focused on its core strengths as a provider
of total Integrated Cardiology Lab solutions.In addition, we believe Merit
Medical will bring a huge amount of expertise in these segments to take Thomas
Medical to the next level."

The transaction has been approved by Merit's board of directors and is subject
to the satisfaction or waiver (in accordance with the provisions of the stock
purchase agreement) of certain closing conditions, including clearance under
the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary
conditions.Merit currently anticipates that the proposed transaction will
close prior to December 31, 2012.The transaction is not subject to a
financing condition, as Merit has secured a commitment from Wells Fargo to
expand Merit's existing credit facility to an amount that Merit believes will
be sufficient to consummate the proposed transaction.

In connection with the proposed transaction, Piper Jaffray & Co. served as
financial advisor to Merit and rendered a fairness opinion to Merit's board of
directors. Raymond James Financial, Inc. also rendered a fairness opinion to
Merit's board of directors. Parr Brown Gee & Loveless served as the legal
advisor to Merit. Moelis & Company LLC served as financial advisor and Paul
Hastings LLP served as legal advisor to GE Healthcare.


Merit will host a conference call to further discuss the details of the
proposed acquisition today, November 26, 2012, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern (4:00 p.m.
Central, 3:00 p.m. Mountain, and 2:00 p.m. Pacific).The domestic phone number
is (888) 549-7750 and the international number is (480) 629-9722.A live
webcast as well as a rebroadcast of the conference call can be accessed
through the Investors page at or through the webcasts tab at


On Wednesday, November 28^th, at 12:30 p.m. ET, Merit's management will give a
30-minute presentation regarding Merit's history, products, financial
performance and prospects, as well as the agreement to acquire Thomas Medical,
at the 24^th Annual Piper Jaffray Healthcare Conference being held at The New
York Palace.


Founded in 1987, Merit Medical Systems, Inc. is engaged in the development,
manufacture and distribution of proprietary disposable medical devices used in
interventional and diagnostic procedures, particularly in cardiology,
radiology and endoscopy.Merit serves client hospitals worldwide with a
domestic and international sales force totaling approximately 165 individuals.
Merit employs approximately 2,600 people worldwide with facilities in Salt
Lake City and South Jordan, Utah; Angleton, Texas; Richmond, Virginia;
Maastricht and Venlo, The Netherlands; Paris, France; Galway, Ireland;
Beijing, China; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Rockland, Massachusetts.

The Merit Medical Systems, Inc. logo is available at

This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding, among other
things, Merit's proposed acquisition of Thomas Medical and Merit's and Thomas
Medical's financial position, results of operations, product development and
business strategy, as well as estimates of Merit's future operating and
financial performance and earnings per share.Statements including words such
as "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "estimates," "plans,"
"will," "may," "intend" or similar expressions are forward-looking
statements.Because these statements reflect Merit's current views,
expectations and beliefs concerning future events, these forward-looking
statements involve risks and uncertainties.Readers should note that many
factors could affect the proposed acquisition, as well as future financial
results, and could cause actual results to vary materially from those
expressed in forward-looking statements set forth in this release.These
factors include, but are not limited to, the risk that the proposed
transaction will not close; the risk that, if the proposed transaction does
close, Merit will not be successful in its efforts to integrate the operations
of Thomas Medical with its existing operations; the risk that Merit may not
achieve the financial and operating results it currently believes Thomas
Medical will generate subsequent to the completion of the proposed
acquisition; the risk that Merit will be unsuccessful in its efforts to
develop, commercialize and market new products acquired through the proposed
transaction (or products developed through the use of intellectual property
acquired through the transaction); and the risk that Merit will be unable to
obtain the financing or regulatory approvals necessary to complete the
proposed acquisition and pursue its intended business strategy.Other factors
that may affect Merit's future financial results and could cause actual
results to vary materially from those expressed in this release include
product recalls and product liability claims; expenditures relating to
research, development, testing and regulatory approval or clearance of Merit's
products and risks that such products may not be developed successfully or
approved for commercial use; greater governmental scrutiny and regulation of
the medical device industry; reforms to the 510(k) process administered by the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration; compliance with governmental regulations
and administrative procedures; potential restrictions on Merit's liquidity or
its ability to operate its business by its current debt agreements; possible
infringement of Merit's technology or the assertion that Merit's technology
infringes the rights of other parties; the potential of fines, penalties, or
other adverse consequences if Merit's employees or agents violate the U.S.
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or other laws and regulations; laws targeting
fraud and abuse in the healthcare industry; potential for significant adverse
changes in, or failure to comply with, governing regulations; the effect of
changes in tax laws and regulations in the United States or other countries;
increases in the price of commodity components; negative changes in economic
and industry conditions in the United States and other countries; termination
or interruption of relationships with Merit's suppliers, or failure of such
suppliers to perform; fluctuations in Euro and GBP exchange rates; Merit's
need to generate sufficient cash flow to fund its debt obligations, capital
expenditures, and ongoing operations; concentration of Merit's revenues among
a few products and procedures; development of new products and technology that
could render Merit's existing products obsolete; market acceptance of new
products; volatility in the market price of Merit's common stock; modification
or limitation of governmental or private insurance reimbursement policies;
changes in health care markets related to health care reform initiatives;
failure to comply with applicable environmental laws; changes in key
personnel; work stoppage or transportation risks; uncertainties associated
with potential healthcare policy changes which may have a material adverse
effect on Merit; introduction of products in a timely fashion; price and
product competition; availability of labor and materials; cost increases;
fluctuations in and obsolescence of inventory; and other factors referred to
in Merit's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011 and
other materials filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All
subsequent forward-looking statements attributable to Merit or persons acting
on its behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by these cautionary
statements. Actual results will differ, and may differ materially, from
anticipated results. Financial estimates are subject to change and are not
intended to be relied upon as predictions of future operating results, and
Merit assumes no obligation to update or disclose revisions to those

CONTACT: Anne-Marie Wright,
         Vice President, Corporate Communications
         Phone: (801) 208-4167
         Fax: (801) 253-1688

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