Caprius spikes deal to sell Aurora

January 13, 1999

December was a cruel month for MR mammography firm Caprius. The Wilmington, MA, company reported last month that a deal to sell the assets of its Aurora dedicated MR mammography system had collapsed. To add insult to injury, the company admitted on Dec.

December was a cruel month for MR mammography firm Caprius. The Wilmington, MA, company reported last month that a deal to sell the assets of its Aurora dedicated MR mammography system had collapsed. To add insult to injury, the company admitted on Dec. 23 that if it didn't sell the Aurora program by Jan. 13, the company's auditors would include a statement in its financial results casting doubt on the firm's ability to continue as a going concern.

Caprius had announced Dec. 3 a tentative agreement to sell Aurora to venture capital firms Ampersand Ventures and Mi3 in a deal valued at approximately $5 million in payments and future royalties (SCAN 12/16/98). Industry watchers suggested that the transaction was Caprius' attempt to both raise cash and reduce costs incurred in trying to bring Aurora to market.

Exactly two weeks later, the deal was dead. Caprius executives declined to comment on the reason for the breakdown, stating only that the company plans to continue acquiring comprehensive breast imaging centers and to seek a buyer for its Aurora technology.

The urgency of the company's mission became evident on Dec. 23, when Caprius reported financial results for 1998 (end-September) that included a $17.5 million loss on revenues of $3.7 million. The results compare poorly with those of 1997, when Caprius had revenues of $12.7 million and a net loss of $9.7 million. Caprius had available cash of $1.8 million as of September 1998, compared with $9.8 million the year before. The cash crunch could lead to the going concern statement, unless a deal is completed by the Jan. 13 deadline, the company said.