Carmat, French Artificial-Heart Maker, to Seek Up to $24.3 Million in IPO

Carmat SAS, a French company that’s developing an artificial heart, plans to raise as much as 19.8 million euros ($24.3 million) in an initial public offering to fund studies on the device.

Carmat, based in Velizy-Villacoublay near Paris, aims to sell 800,000 shares at 17.35 euros to 20.15 euros each, the company said in a statement today. If an extension clause and an over-allotment option are exercised, Carmat would sell an additional 258,000 shares, bringing the proceeds to 19.8 million euros assuming the stock is sold at 18.75 euros, the middle of the range, the company said.

An estimated 17.1 million people died from cardiovascular disease worldwide in 2004 and that number may rise to almost 24 million by 2030, according to the World Health Organization. Carmat is developing a device for people suffering from advanced heart failure and who can’t find a human heart for a transplant, given that the number of available organs is too low and decreasing, according to Carmat’s website.

The IPO will allow the company, founded in 2008, to complete pre-clinical trials on the artificial heart and start testing the device on humans. The implantable organ will resemble the human heart as much as possible, featuring the right and left ventricles, the website said. A prototype completed in 2008 weighed 900 grams (31.7 ounces), according to Carmat’s website.

Heart Valve

European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co., a Carmat shareholder, plans to buy as much as 5 million euros of stock in the sale. The other shareholders are Truffle Capital, a Paris- based venture capital firm, and Alain Carpentier, the company’s scientific director and developer of the heart.

Carpentier is an emeritus professor at the Pierre & Marie Curie University in Paris, where he founded and manages the heart transplant and prosthesis laboratory. He developed the Carpentier Edwards heart valve, marketed by Edwards Lifesciences Corp. He obtained an initial patent filing on the artificial heart in 1988, according to Carmat’s website.

The IPO price will be fixed July 7, with trading to begin July 13 on NYSE-Euronext’s Alternext market, the statement said.

Dexia Securities France, Nomura Code and Invest Securities are arranging the sale. A sale of 800,000 shares at the midpoint of the range would value the entire company at 67.7 million euros.

To contact the reporter on this story: Albertina Torsoli in Paris at atorsoli@bloomberg.net

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