By Toby Sterling
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch healthcare company Philips <PHG.AS> has agreed to buy U.S.-based Spectranetics Corp <SPNC.O>, a maker of devices to treat heart disease, for 1.9 billion euros ($2.16 billion) including debt, as it expands its image-guided therapy business.
Spectranetics uses techniques including lasers and tiny drug-covered balloons to clean the insides of veins and arteries that have become clogged due to heart disease.
Philips will pay Spectranetics shareholders $38.50 per share, a 27 percent premium to their closing price on June 27.
Philips Chief Executive Frans van Houten has transformed the former conglomerate into a focused maker of healthcare equipment over the past five years, spinning off its lighting division <LIGHT.AS> and selling most of its remaining consumer products business.
Philips said Spectranetics, which expects sales of around $300 million this year, will continue to grow revenues at double-digit rates and will begin adding to Philips' earnings in 2018.
The deal strengthens Philips' position in heart disease therapy following its acquisition of vascular imaging company Volcano in early 2015, van Houten told reporters.
After the acquisition "we will have quite a nice lineup of devices for both heart, coronary, peripheral, vascular therapies," he said. "In combination with our image-guided systems which enable doctors to see inside the body and use these tools, we have a very compelling market position."
Philips shares dipped 1.35 percent to 32.1 euros in morning trading in Amsterdam. Analysts from Berenburg, which rates the shares 'Hold', said the acquisition was a good strategic fit but would not increase Philips' return on invested capital for five years.
"In our view, this is a nice technology-rich company and adds scale and breadth to Philips’ existing portfolio of mechanical atherectomy and intravascular ultrasound – but clearly this is a punchy price to pay," they said in a note.
Separately on Wednesday, Philips announced a new 1.5 billion euro share buyback program that will begin in the third quarter and run for two years.
CEO van Houten denied that the company had acted under pressure from activist U.S. hedge fund Third Point LLC, which has recently acquired a stake in Philips below the three percent threshold that would require disclosure under Dutch securities law.
Van Houten said he has not had any communication with Third Point.
($1 = 0.8803 euros)
(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Adrian Croft)