Mediq weighs imaging consolidation

March 27, 1991

Mediq may combine its various medical imaging companies into onebusiness unit, according to Michael Sandler, senior vice presidentand CFO. The consolidation would be part of a general restructuringand downsizing of the diversified health-care company

Mediq may combine its various medical imaging companies into onebusiness unit, according to Michael Sandler, senior vice presidentand CFO. The consolidation would be part of a general restructuringand downsizing of the diversified health-care company (SCAN 1/16/91).

Mediq was the largest supplier of mobile computed tomographyand magnetic resonance imaging services until it sold that businessto Mobile Technology (MTI) three years ago (SCAN 4/13/88). Thefirm continues to offer mobile ultrasound, nuclear medicine andx-ray services, however.

If a consolidation of medical imaging businesses takes place,the mobile operations would be combined with Mediq Equipment andMaintenance Services (MEMS), a Dallas-based independent serviceorganization for imaging equipment, and Mediq Diagnostic and TreatmentCenters (MDTC). MDTC, based at corporate headquarters in Pennsauken,NJ, runs six imaging centers.

The medical imaging companies are a core part of Mediq's businessstrategy and will not be divested in the restructuring program,Sandler said. The same cannot be said for Mediq's Copelco FinancialServices, a medical equipment lessor. The mix of financial servicesand Mediq's health-care businesses has confused investors, henoted.

Following recommendations by Smith Barney last year, Mediqplans to divest many of its 24 business units. The divestitureswill help raise cash to pay off a large debt load and focus thecompany on business areas that are less confusing to bankers,customers, employees and stockholders, Sandler said.

"We are overleveraged and the stock market doesn't understandus," he said.

Combining medical imaging businesses will help reduce corporateoverhead and make use of complementary expertise. Mediq expectsthe combination will be appealing to the financial markets. Ifthe reaction is favorable, Mediq might consider spinning the unitoff into a separate company, Sandler said.

Mediq has already taken what could be considered a first stepin the consolidation of its imaging businesses. The parent companyappointed J. Thomas Owings, president of MDTC, as president ofMEMS last month (see following story).