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Matt Likens - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

$600M sale of Ulthera named Deal of the Year for 2014

The $600 million purchase of Mesa-based Ulthera, Inc. by German company Merz Pharma was selected as the 2014 Deal of the Year Award by the Association for Corporate Growth-Arizona Chapter.

The “Deal of the Year” is an award given by the Arizona Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) to recognize a company or private equity firm for their accomplishments regarding a merger, acquisition or capital market transaction.  The award recognizes a deal/transaction in the Arizona marketplace involving established businesses with between $10 million and $750 million of revenue that closed in calendar year 2014.

The Deal of the Year Award was given Tuesday night at a dinner at the Arizona Biltmore. Vonage’s purchase of Scottsdale-based Telesphere Networks in a $114 million transaction was the runner-up for the award.

“This is an example of a merger and acquisition that was truly a win for the companies involved and for Arizona’s economy,” said Sanat Patel, Board President for ACG-Arizona. “We congratulate the team behind the Ulthera purchase for their hard work in creating a transaction that has helped an Arizona company expand its global presence.”

Ulthera, Inc. is a venture capital-funded start-up company that was established in Mesa in January, 2004. Ulthera has developed a focused ultrasound approach to creating reliable and significant firming, tightening and lifting of facial skin tissue in one-hour non-invasive procedures.

Matt Likens, President & CEO with Ulthera, said that the transaction has strengthened Ulthera’s position in the marketplace significantly.

“Ulthera represents the only medical device within the Merz Pharma product portfolio,” Likens said. “Since the deal closed six months ago, our presence in Mesa has continued to expand. We are now positioned as the medical device center of innovation and excellence for Merz Pharma globally.”

The award criteria for the Deal of the Year included:

·       Deal-making that either created or demonstrates a real potential for substantial return on investment

·       Deal-making that evidences the unlocking of value and/or contribution to the strategic development of the business

·       Deal-making that produces a wider business impact, such as the development of new markets, products, services and/or technologies and the creation or retention of quality employment opportunities in Arizona

·       Deal-making that reflects a high level of professional expertise in the design of the transaction and tested creativity and deal-making skills in completing the transaction

·       At least one company involved in the transaction must be headquartered or have a majority of its operations in Arizona

Founded in 1954, the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) is a global association for professionals involved in corporate growth, corporate development, and mergers and acquisitions. Today ACG stands at more than 14,000 members from corporations, private equity, finance, and professional service firms representing Fortune 500, Fortune 1000, FTSE 100, and mid-market companies in 56 chapters in North America, Europe, and Asia. The Arizona chapter of ACG includes representatives from corporate investment and private equity groups, financiers, venture capitalists and supporting consultant services. For more information, visit www.acg.org/arizona.

Matt Likens - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

Merz acquires Mesa-based medical company Ulthera

Merz and Ulthera, Inc. today announced that they have entered a definitive merger agreement, pursuant to which Merz will acquire global medical device company Ulthera, a deal which will accelerate Merz’s growth in the aesthetics area and expand the company’s portfolio of treatment options in facial aesthetics.

Merz and Ulthera have entered a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which Merz will acquire Ulthera, Inc, a global medical device company focused on developing and commercializing technologies for aesthetic and medical applications using its therapeutic ultrasound platform technology. Valued at up to $600 million in upfront cash and milestone payments, the acquisition is the largest in Merz’s history.

“This acquisition represents an important strategic milestone for Merz,” said Philip Burchard, CEO of Merz Pharma Group, which has affiliates in 18 countries around the world. “We have a vision to be the most innovative company in aesthetics, and expanding into the rapidly growing field of energy devices will position us for long-term success in this area. The addition of Ulthera’s energy device technology complements and expands our global presence in the aesthetics space.”

Founded in 2004, Ulthera is a leader in non-surgical lifting and tightening treatments. Using therapeutic ultrasound technology, the Ulthera® System is the first and only ultrasound platform device to receive FDA clearance for lifting skin on the eyebrow, the neck and under the chin. Ulthera expects sales of more than $100 million in 2014.

“The aesthetic lift indication differentiates Ulthera from every other energy device available in the market today,” said Bill Humphries, President and CEO of Merz North America, Inc. “It is truly innovative technology, and we expect to leverage our in-house clinical expertise to develop further aesthetic and medical applications and bring them to the international marketplace.”

Merz and Ulthera have a shared mission: to bring innovations to market that meet the needs of physicians and improve the well-being of patients. This shared long-term vision provides a solid foundation for the combined company. “Joining with a like-minded, growing global healthcare company is a major milestone in the life of our company,” said Ulthera CEO Matt Likens. “Through our collaboration with Merz, we hope to introduce the Ulthera® System to new customers and markets around the world.”

“Building on this important new partnership, Merz will continue to seek innovative M&A and licensing opportunities on a global scale,” said Hans-Jörg Bergler, Head of Corporate Development for Merz Pharma Group.

The transaction has been approved by the boards of both companies and is subject to customary closing conditions, including the expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014.

Matt Likens - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

First Job: Matt Likens, CEO Of Ulthera, Inc.

Matt Likens, CEO of Ulthera, Inc., discusses her first job working on a muck farm on Ohio, his first job in the healthcare industry, his biggest mentor and more.


Matt Likens

Title: CEO
Company: Ulthera, Inc.

What was your very first job?
When I was 10 years old, my brother — who is two years younger than me — and I worked on a muck farm in Ravenna, Ohio. We would be picked up at 6 a.m., go to the farm, crawl around on our hands and knees all day, weeding crops that were grown in this very rich, black, wet soil called muck. It was mostly mustard plants and assorted other crops. Then, when the plants were ready, we would harvest them.

What did you learn from that first job?
It taught us the value of hard work. We didn’t have a privileged childhood, so it was a way for us to become self-sufficient and do the things we wanted to do, whether it was buying baseball cards or soft drinks. I learned that earning your own way in life is the right this to do.

Describe your first job in your industry.
My first job in the healthcare industry came in 1978 as a sales representative for Baxter Healthcare, working in their transfusion medicine business, selling blood collection containers and everything used to transfuse blood and blood components.

What lessons did you learn from your early industry jobs?
Right out of college, I got a job selling industrial tape for Johnson & Johnson in Minnesota against 3M, which had an 85 percent market share. So I learned rejection very early in my career, but I also learned the value of having a good second supplier. Companies with such a dominant market share tend to get arrogant and take their business for granted. So if you work hard and portray yourself as a credible second supplier, it’s a way to get in the door.

What were your salaries in your first job and first industry job?
My salary at the muck farm was 35 cents an hour. My salary at Johnson & Johnson was $13,000 per year.

Who is your biggest mentor?
Harry Cramer, who was the CEO at Baxter when I left. I have a book in my office that Harry wrote called “Values Based Leadership.” If Harry said it, he also acted that way, so his words and actions were absolutely in synch with each other. That was an excellent example and I’ve tried to emulate that  as I’ve moved past Baxter and into the startup world.

Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012