Tampa's SRI/Surgical Express, provider of hospital sterilization services, sold to British buyer
Wake up and good morning. After announcing last September that it would explore its sale, Tampa's publicly traded SRI/ Surgical Express is doing just that. British company Synergy Health plc this morning says it will buy SRI/Surgical Express for $25.1 million to expand its U.S. business of providing sterilization services to hospitals. SRI supplies sterile surgical gowns and surgical instruments to about 470 U.S. hospitals and surgery centers. It employed 799 at the end of 2011 and operated 10 processing centers around the country.
SRI/Surgical Express has been losing money for some time. It reported a $500,000 loss in the first quarter and both in 2011 and 2010 reported annual losses of just under $1.6 million. Commenting on the annual loss last year, CEO Gerald Woodard blamed "uncharacteristically high insurance costs and commodity prices" for the company performance.
SRI/Surgical Express's stock (STRC) was an underperformer. An investor who bought $100 worth of the company shares at the end of 2006 would see that stake worth only $77 at the end of 2011.
According to this Reuters report, Synergy Health has been trying to establish a hospital outsourcing business in the United States and in March had acquired MSI Surgical Solutions.
-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, Tampa Bay Times