ZOLL Medical knows how to get your heart pounding. The medical equipment firm makes noninvasive cardiac defibrillators and pacing devices used in emergency situations to resuscitate hearts that have stopped beating during sudden cardiac arrest. ZOLL Medical also makes disposable electrodes for use with its products, as well as related information technology software. The company's products are used by hospitals, paramedics, and other emergency medical personnel and are sold through a direct sales force in the US and via representatives and distributors in some 140 countries worldwide. ZOLL Medical manufactures its products at five facilities in the US. Japanese firm Asahi Kasei acquired ZOLL in 2012.
Japanese chemical firm Asahi Kasei purchased ZOLL for some $2.2 billion in April 2012 through a cash tender offer. The acquisition was part of Asahi Kasei's efforts to expand in the critical care market; the two firms already had a distribution agreement (formed in 2011) through which Asahi Kasei distributed (and continues to distribute) certain ZOLL products in Japan. Following the transaction, ZOLL will operate as an independent subsidiary of Asahi Kasei. The new parent company plans to invest in expanding ZOLL's resuscitation offerings.
Joining the Asahi Kasei family also boosts ZOLL's efforts to increase its international presence. While sales in the US account for more than half of the company's sales, ZOLL experienced a 21% jump in international revenues in 2011. A 57% jump in the LifeVest product segment, alongside the international growth, led to a 18% increase in overall annual revenues (from $444 million to $523 million) for the company in 2011. The firm also experienced a healthy rise in profitability that year, increasing net income 65% from some $19 million to about $31 million.
ZOLL's lead professional defibrillator product line is designed for trained health care professionals, such as paramedics and hospital personnel. The device incorporates features that record and transmit data and monitor heart rhythm, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation. The firm's R Series models target hospitals, while its E Series and M Series are designed for use in ambulances and critical care transport, while the Propaq MD was designed for military emergency response applications. ZOLL maintains healthy sales to military customers through a "state of readiness" contract to supply defibrillators on short notice to the US military.
While its core products were developed for use in hospital and ambulance settings, ZOLL Medical has branched out to develop more portable defibrillators, and helped to create the demand for units to be used by non-professionals in non-medical settings. ZOLL Medical's automated external defibrillators (AEDs) including the AED Pro are lower-cost, portable devices that non-professionals can use to analyze a patient's condition and shock the heart back into rhythm, if necessary. For patients at risk of a sudden cardiac arrest, doctors can prescribe the ZOLL LifeVest automatic defibrillator which can be worn at all times.
The company has also expanded its product offerings by developing or acquiring devices that address resuscitation issues other than defibrillation. Its Power Infuser is used by military clients to deliver IV fluids to trauma victims. Other products include an automatic chest compression device, the AutoPulse, which helps rescuers deliver more consistent chest compressions during CPR. ZOLL Medical has built up a selection of temperature management products; its therapeutic hypothermia equipment lowers the body temperature to aid recovery of resuscitated patients and patients with severe fever.
ZOLL also sees profit growth opportunities from expanding its information technology offerings, which primarily provide data management software for the pre-hospital (EMS, fire rescue) market. Its RescueNet software is used by emergency responders to gather and centralize resuscitation information, as well as to coordinate schedules, billing, patient records, and other administrative processes. The company also offers the CodeNet resuscitation data management program for hospitals. – less