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Thoratec Should Move Ahead on a Sale, Oracle Says in Filing

Thoratec Corp., a maker of implantable heart pumps, should retain an investment bank to put the company up for sale, according to a shareholder proposal by investor Oracle Investment Management Inc.

The proposal for the next shareholder meeting was disclosed in a regulatory filing today. Oracle, based in Greenwich, Connecticut, controls 5.2 percent of Pleasanton, California-based Thoratec.

Larry Feinberg, Oracle’s founder, earlier this month urged Thoratec’s board to hire a bank to handle an auction of the company. The heart-pump maker may attract bids from Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic Inc. or Abbott Laboratories if the company seeks a buyer, Feinberg said in an interview on Dec. 6.

“We believe that the market clout, capital resources, and relevant experience of a larger and more tenured medtech company is required to accelerate the penetration of this burgeoning market opportunity,” Oracle said in a supporting statement in the filing.

The market for Thoratec’s main product, the left-ventricular assist device, is $5 billion to $10 billion, Oracle said in its statement. A company device in development may generate as much as $1 billion, Oracle said.

Thoratec fell than 1.5 percent to $30.03 at 4 p.m. New York time.

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