Tampa-based, publicly traded company SRI/Surgical Express will be acquired by British-based Synergy Health plc for $25.1 million to expand its U.S. business of providing sterilization services to hospitals. SRI/Surgical 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.
The company, which in September started looking for a potential buyer, 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."
SRI/Surgical Express's stock (STRC) is 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.
Synergy Health has been trying to establish a hospital outsourcing business in the United States and in March had acquired MSI Surgical Solutions.