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Intermagnetics buys MRI coil vendor

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Superconducting magnet supplier Intermagnetics General (IGC) purchased Milwaukee-based MRI surface-coil provider Medical Advances (MAI) last month for $12 million. The combination cash-stock deal expands IGC's interests in MRI. MAI president Richard

Superconducting magnet supplier Intermagnetics General (IGC) purchased Milwaukee-based MRI surface-coil provider Medical Advances (MAI) last month for $12 million.

The combination cash-stock deal expands IGC's interests in MRI. MAI president Richard Stevens, who will continue to run the company as an IGC subsidiary, sees technical synergies between the two firms.

"If you look at the total MR system, it makes a lot of sense to put together players who participate in various aspects of the components and subsystems," he said.

With sales of over $7 million in 1996, MAI is generally ranked with Medrad, a subsidiary of German pharmaceutical firm Schering, as one of the major players in the resurgent MRI surface-coil market. The company enjoyed 20% revenue growth last year, Stevens said. It has OEM relationships with GE, GE's YMS subsidiary in Japan, Picker, Hitachi, Toshiba, and Elscint.

In related news, Intermagnetics announced that its MRI magnet supply agreement with Philips will be extended through 2000. IGC supplies Philips with superconducting magnets for its Gyroscan NT scanner line. Including refrigeration products, Philips accounted for 44% of IGC's net sales in fiscal 1996. In February, the company also disclosed that GE Medical Systems had decided against renewing its lapsed five-year contract for superconducting wire from IGC, although GE will probably continue to buy some wire from the company. That contract accounted for 18% of IGC net sales in fiscal 1996.

Intermagnetics last month reported third-quarter financial numbers (end-February) that showed the company posting revenues of $18.2 million, down 14% compared with $21.2 million in the same period a year ago. IGC's net income dropped as well, to $24,000 in the most recent period from $725,000 in the third quarter of 1996. IGC said it experienced a sales decline due to lower demand for wire and refrigeration products.

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