Company news

April 9, 2012

Warsaw-based Biomet Inc. has offered to buy the trauma products business of DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. for $280 million in cash. DePuy, a unit of New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson since 1998, also is based in Warsaw. Biomet, which designs and manufactures orthopedic products for surgical and non-surgical uses, said the deal would greatly expand its sports, extremities and trauma business. DePuy makes artificial joints and other orthopedic devices. J&J is attempting to spin off DePuy’s trauma products business as it seeks to finalize its planned $21.3 billion acquisition of Swiss medical device maker Synthes Inc. The European Commission opened an expanded probe last November of J&J's bid to buy Synthes in a deal that would make J&J the leader in the $5.5 billion trauma device market. The Brussels-based regulator is expected to rule on the acquisition by April 26. Biomet’s offer to DePuy expires June 1 but could be extended under certain circumstances.

Carmel-based CNO Financial Group Inc. has agreed to pay $9.9 million to settle allegations by regulators in four states that its Bankers Life subsidiary acted as an investment adviser and broker-dealer without proper licensing. Bankers Life sells a mix of life insurance, annuities and Medicare supplement policies to middle-income earners near or in retirement. It has 1.3 million policyholders across the U.S. and 5,600 agents in 250 U.S. locations. CNO Financial will take a $10 million first-quarter charge related to the settlement, which calls for CNO to make payments to the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Missouri and also cover "certain costs of the investigation." An audit revealed Bankers Life was operating in some states where it was not licensed by affiliating with licensed brokers and then steering customers into its annuity products, Maine's Office of Securities said in a statement to Reuters. CNO agreed to surrender the license for its broker-dealer subsidiary, BLC Financial Services Inc, to both the SEC and regulators in Illinois, where it is based. Financial advisers working for independent broker dealers will continue to sell Bankers Life products in the settlement states.

Nyhart, an actuarial and benefits consulting firm, has opened an office in St. Louis, its third expansion in 15 months. In 2011, Nyhart merged with an Atlanta public pension firm and prior to that acquired a business group in Kansas City, Mo. Nyhart has more than 1,000 clients in 48 states, managing $14 billion in pension plan assets. Heath Merlak, an actuary at Nyhart, will head up the new office.

Arizona-based Synergy HomeCare has established a new franchise in Indianapolis. Owners George and Denise Wright will provide 24-hour non-medical care to residents in Indianapolis, Carmel and Fishers. The company typically serves the elderly, those who are recovering from significant surgery and sickness, and new mothers. The new franchise has 10 caregivers but hopes to expand to 25. Synergy HomeCare now has 138 franchises in 37 states.