BURLINGTON, Mass., Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- LeMaitre Vascular, Inc., (Nasdaq: LMAT), a provider of peripheral vascular devices and implants, today announced that it has reached an agreement to launch a direct sales force in Italy in January 2008.
LeMaitre Vascular currently sells its products in Italy through an exclusive distribution agreement with Serom Medical Technologies srl. LeMaitre Vascular and Serom agreed to terminate Serom's exclusive rights on January 25, 2008 in exchange for the payment of an undisclosed sum. Serom had previously held exclusive distribution rights in Italy from 1992 through Q4 2008.
Net revenues of LeMaitre Vascular products sold to Serom in 2006 totaled approximately euro 0.9 million, more than any other LeMaitre Vascular distributor. LeMaitre Vascular believes that Serom's hospital-level sales approximated euro 1.9 during this same period. LeMaitre Vascular expects to open an office in Rome in Q4 2007 and commence direct sales to Italian hospitals in Q1 2008.
LeMaitre has hired a general manager of its Italian operations to manage a smooth market transition. Serom will provide a range of consulting services designed to facilitate this transition.
"Selling direct in Italy allows us to develop closer relationships with our vascular surgeon customers and also allows us to capture higher gross margins," added Peter R. Gebauer, President, International of LeMaitre Vascular. "Italy is at the forefront of the endovascular revolution and is the largest aortic stent graft market in Europe. We look forward to having a direct sales presence in this market."
"This is the continued execution of the 'Go-Direct' strategy that we initiated in 1998 in Germany, and that we have continued in the U.K., Japan, the Benelux, Austria, Sweden, and this year France," said George W. LeMaitre, Chairman and CEO of LeMaitre Vascular. "This is the natural conclusion to a long and mutually productive relationship with Serom."
LeMaitre Vascular expects to record a charge of approximately $1.1 million in Q3 2007 as a result of this transaction.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements in this press release regarding the Company's business that are not historical facts may be "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. Specifically, statements regarding the Company's financial guidance and its operational objectives, and the Company's ability to hire a direct sales organization, attain higher gross margins and develop closer relationships with Italian vascular surgeons, are forward-looking statements involving risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements are based on management's current, preliminary expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from the results predicted and include, but are not limited to, the Company's ability to successfully retain Serom's customer base for LeMaitre Vascular products, the Company's ability to retain a material portion of Serom's sales agent network, the Company's ability to expand its sales force in Italy, risks related to product demand and market acceptance of the Company's products, the significant competition the Company faces from other companies, technologies and alternative medical procedures, the Company's ability to expand its product offerings through internal development or acquisition, the Company's ability to realize the anticipated benefits of its acquisitions, disruption at the Company's single manufacturing facility, the Company's lack of experience with and general uncertainty related to seeking regulatory approvals for its products, particularly in the United States, potential claims of third parties that the Company's products infringe their intellectual property rights and the risks and uncertainties described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006, under the heading "Risk Factors" filed with the SEC, and available on its investor relations website at http://www.lemaitre.com and on the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov, and in subsequent SEC filings. Undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. The Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, events or circumstances after the date they were made, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
|SOURCE LeMaitre Vascular, Inc.|
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