Berchtold Corp. Acquires Surgical Table Assets from Getinge/Castle Inc.

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Berchtold Corporation and Getinge/Castle Inc. today announced a definitive agreement for Berchtold Corporation, a leading provider of surgical equipment for the operating room, to acquire assets related to a surgical table product from Getinge/Castle, a leading supplier of sterilization, disinfection and surgical equipment.

Developed and configured for North American clinical environments, the table provides advanced ergonomic features with minimal patient re-positioning. The agreement is in keeping with Berchtold's growth strategy for providing focused OR solutions. Following completion of the asset transfer, the table will be incorporated into Berchtold's existing Operon surgical table product family. Additional product enhancements and subsequent manufacturing will take place at the company's Charleston facility.

The table's overall design and supporting product features address the multi-specialty needs of acute care hospitals in the US marketplace. The table's carbon fiber sliding tabletop ensures durability and safety while providing extended imaging coverage. Carbon fiber technology also provides greater imaging clarity than standard composite tabletop surfaces. A 600-pound weight capacity enables unrestricted patient positioning and facilitates bariatric surgical procedures, a fast-growing niche market.

"Berchtold is always seeking ergonomic solutions that dramatically impact OR efficiency and patient positioning," said Joe McDonald, president and COO of Berchtold Corp. "This acquisition is an important complement to existing company products. The addition of Berchtold's design features, such as voice-recognition and touch-screen control will be a significant step forward in our efforts to shape the OR of the future. We see great potential in the base design and its functional implications."

The sale includes net assets and product designs associated with a surgical table developed by Getinge/Castle, including inventory of components and finished goods, fixtures, tools and other working knowledge. As part of the agreement, Berchtold will introduce the table to the US market in the second quarter of 2003.

"The flexibility of this table supports a variety of surgical specialties, including general, cardiovascular, gynecology, neurosurgery, orthopedic, and urology. The table will offer greater long-term value in terms of capital outlay and utilization by eliminating the need for hospitals to invest in multiple specialty tables," said Bob Cyzman, product manager of surgical tables for Berchtold Corp.

Founded in 1922, Berchtold Corp. is a world leader in surgical lighting, operating tables and power boom equipment management systems.