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Asensus Surgical, Inc. Announces Non-Binding Acquisition Proposal with KARL STORZ SE & Co. KG

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Asensus Surgical, Inc. has announced that it has entered into a non-binding letter of intent with KARL STORZ SE & Co. KG to engage in diligence and negotiations regarding the terms of a potential transaction whereby KARL STORZ may acquire Asensus. Entry into the letter of intent follows an extensive period of consideration of various strategic alternatives by Asensus, including potential collaboration and licensing transactions, a go-it-alone strategy dependent upon raising significant additional equity capital, a sale of the Company and other potential business development transactions.

The Company’s Board of Directors has approved entry into the letter of intent, which includes KARL STORZ’ proposal to acquire 100% of the issued and outstanding shares of Asensus’ common stock for a purchase price of $0.35 per share in cash. This represents a 66.7% premium to the closing price of Asensus common stock on the NYSE American exchange on April 2nd, 2024. KARL STORZ has communicated that the proposed purchase price represents its “best and final” offer to the Company.

The letter of intent provides that during an exclusivity period of up to ten weeks Asensus will not engage in negotiations for alternative transactions. During the exclusivity period, KARL STORZ will be conducting diligence and the parties will be negotiating a definitive merger agreement. Both the Company and KARL STORZ have the option to terminate pursuit of the proposed transaction. In conjunction with the letter of intent, Asensus has entered into a fully secured Promissory Note (the “Bridge Loan”) with KARL STORZ. The Bridge Loan will enable Asensus to receive a loan of up to $20 million from KARL STORZ to support the Company’s operations through the exclusivity period, signing of a definitive merger agreement, if any, and close of the proposed transaction, if the proposed transaction proceeds and is approved by stockholders.   The Bridge Loan will provide up to $10 million of liquidity during the exclusivity period. If a definitive merger agreement is successfully negotiated and executed, additional funding in an aggregate amount of up to $10 million will be available under the Bridge Loan to fund operations while the Company pursues stockholder approval. Today the Company is filing a Current Report on Form 8-K to describe the Bridge Loan transaction, including the security interests being provided.

Asensus and KARL STORZ plan to work diligently during the exclusivity period to negotiate and finalize a definitive merger agreement. If a definitive merger agreement is entered into, Asensus will work expeditiously to secure stockholder approval of the transaction and to close the transaction in accordance with the terms of the definitive merger agreement.

A Transaction Committee of the Board of Directors has been formed to consider the terms of a definitive merger agreement and to make a recommendation to the full Board of Directors for approval prior to execution of any definitive merger agreement and submission of the proposed transaction to stockholders for a vote.

The Company cannot provide any assurance that it will be able to agree on final terms with KARL STORZ for a definitive merger agreement. Any transaction is subject to, among other conditions, completion of due diligence by KARL STORZ, negotiation of a definitive merger agreement, a recommendation by the Transaction Committee and approval by the Board of Directors and stockholders, and other customary closing conditions to be included in the definitive merger agreement, if any. If the proposed transaction is consummated, Asensus will cease to be a publicly traded company. If negotiations are terminated during the exclusivity period, or, if entered into, the definitive merger agreement is terminated, KARL STORZ will cease to provide any additional bridge financing and the Company will be required to repay the Bridge Loan to KARL STORZ within a prescribed period.

The Company does not intend to comment further about the proposed transaction unless and until a definitive merger agreement is signed or discussions between the parties are otherwise terminated.  

The Company has engaged Jefferies LLC as its exclusive financial advisor.

Source: Asensus Surgical

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