The Seattle Times reports that ultrasound manufacturer SonoSite is looking to raise $150 million from investors to fund acquisitions. This comes just two days after Barron's online printed an article that all but predicted doom for SonoSite, stating that the Logiq e and other GE products will eventually crush SonoSite and its market-leading portable ultrasound share. The article from Barron's doesn't quite get it, but it does make one think: how long will GE and other manufacturer's let SonoSite own its niche? Yes, SonoSite knows its customers better, but a long-term plan must be put in place for survival. If SonoSite can apply its great customer focus with better R&D, it can hang on for sure. They're a cool company, but the limited product line and narrow focus scares investors. And that can spell death... particularly when seen from an investor's 10,000-foot view. SonoSite might be better off looking at expanding its marketing efforts and sales force... SonoSite's got some of the best marketing stuff out there, but is it doing as good ajob of announcing it to the world as GE is?
We have yet to see the unanounced SonoSite Maxx product, which is slated to be more competitive with the GE Logiq portable ultrasound machines. The SonoSite Maxx is described as a cross between a SonoSite Micromaxx and Philips HDI 5000 ultrasound. It'll have full cardiac capabilities, including TEE (no phased array probe, still the convex), but no other details have been released. I'm curious as to whether they'll stick with the same basic user interface or if they'll chase the more complex interface and tweaking capabilities of the GE products.
Quoted from http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2003782081_SonoSite10.html:
SonoSite collecting cash to go shopping
By Ángel González
Seattle Times business reporter
Eager to embark on a revenue-boosting buying spree, SonoSite seeks to build itself a war chest.
The Bothell portable ultrasound-equipment maker said Monday it intends to raise $150 million from investors, mostly to fund acquisitions.
Investors underwriting the effort would be able to buy up to an additional $22.5 million in convertible notes, the company said in a statement.