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Another South Florida exit: New Wave Surgical sold for more than $100 million

New Wave Surgical, a medical device maker in Pompano Beach, has been acquired for more than $100 million, its founder and former president, R. Alexander Gomez, confirmed Thursday.

The rapidly growing company was bought by Covidien, a publicly held $10 billion global healthcare products company based in Dublin, Ireland. Gomez, 35, wouldn’t disclose the price Thursday, but the sum ultimately will be revealed in public filings. 

Gomez invented the company’s D-HELP kit, which keeps laparoscopic and robotic lenses heated, defogged and clean during procedures. The kit, manufactured in Pompano, is used in 1,200 hospitals in the U.S. and has been used in more than one million procedures -- 500,000 in 2013 alone. Covidien has changed the name of the product to Clearify Visualization System. 

Though the device was selling globally, Gomez said a company of his size could not take full advantage of the worldwide market. Gomez was trying to raise capital for expansion when Covidien came knocking.

“We had been growing very quickly. We were getting orders from around the world. I knew I wanted to make it the standard of care. With Covidien, now it really can dominate,” said Gomez.

Once a surgical technician at Broward General, now Broward Health Medical Center, Gomez began developing the product while a student at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. He never did his residency, instead opting to develop the product. He founded New Wave Surgical in 2006.

The company grew to 145 employees and logged $21 million in annual revenue in 2013; $8 million of that came in the final quarter. Last year New Wave moved into larger facilities. Most of its explosive growth has been in the last two years as more doctors became aware of the product. “There was an absolute need for better vision for laparoscopy,” Gomez said.

New Wave had several other products under development.

Gomez said he plans to start a healthcare fund with his partners, and hopes to help young entrepreneurs navigate the rapidly changing heathcare industry with mentorship and capital. “I hope to help people like me. When I started trying to raise capital, it was tough.”

 

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