Cook Group to sell West Lafayette-based biotech subsidiary to Florida company

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Bloomington-based Cook Group on Monday announced plans to sell its West Lafayette-based subsidiary, Cook Biotech, to RTI Surgical, a surgical implant contract development manufacturing organization headquartered in Alachua, Florida.

Financial terms of the sale were not immediately disclosed.

Cook Biotech was founded in 1995 and develops advanced tissue-repair products from biomaterials that are used for a variety of applications, including hernia repair, dental repair and dura repair.

RTI Surgical was founded in 1998 as Regeneration Technologies as a spinoff from the University of Florida Tissue Bank and works with medical technology companies to design, develop and manufacture new tissue-based surgical implant products.

In a news release, Cook Group said the sale is part of the company’s five-year strategic plan.

“Cook Group is getting focused on using our resources to invest in areas we know we can grow and make a significant impact for patients,” President Pete Yonkman said. “In this case, we know RTI Surgical is uniquely positioned to take what the team at Cook Biotech has created over the past 28 years and extend its impact around the world. This agreement represents the best pathway forward for the products, employees, and patients.”

Cook Biotech employs 275 people, all of whom will transition to RTI Surgical once the deal closes. Yonkman said the rest of the Cook Group organization will remain under current ownership.

As part of the deal, a transition services agreement is in place to fulllly transition Cook Biotech’s processes such as ordering and distributing to RTI Surgical over the next 18 months. The company said there would be no immediate change for customers.

Cook Biotech represents less than 2% of the parent company’s revenue, Cook said. The sale is expected to close in late January or early February.

The deal is the latest in a series of actions Cook Group has taken as part of its strategic plan.

In November, the company announced it was selling a portion of its reproductive health and otolaryngology business in a $300 million deal with California-based CooperCompanies. In May, Cook announced it was cutting 500 jobs from its Cook Medical business, representing about 4% of its global workforce.

Cook Group is the fourth-largest private employer in Indiana with $2.36 billion in revenue and nearly 12,000 people around the world, including about 6,100 in Indiana, according to IBJ research.

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