Merit Medical Systems, a manufacturer of disposable medical devices for use in endoscopy and cardiology, has entered into a stock purchase agreement to buy Thomas Medical Products for $167m in cash.

Thomas Medical, GE Healthcare’s US division, is involved in manufacturing catheter-based vascular access delivery devices which are used in electrophysiology, cardiac rhythm management, interventional cardiology and interventional radiology procedures.

Merit Medical Systems chairman and chief executive officer Fred Lampropoulos said the company believes that the acquisition will expand its market presence into new product categories, particularly in interventional cardiology.

"In addition, Thomas Medical has a number of existing electrophysiology products that are distributed by the larger medical device companies, as well as other EP products being developed," Lampropoulos added.

"We believe this segment of the business, which likewise represents potential expansion into new product categories, has the potential to be a driver of substantial future growth."

Merit anticipates that during the year end of 31 December 2012, Thomas will generate revenues of $37m and on a pro forma basis will have gross and operating margins of approximately 55% and 44% respectively.

The transaction is not subject to a financing condition, as Merit will finance the capital to expand its existing credit facility to $275m, which Wells Fargo Bank has committed to provide in a single bank transaction.

GE Healthcare healthcare systems division president and chief executive officer Tom Gentile said, "We are confident this transaction will provide Thomas Medical new capabilities to maximize its opportunities in the single-use vascular access product space and enable GE Healthcare’s Cardiovascular segment to remain focused on its core strengths as a provider of total Integrated Cardiology Lab solutions."