Activist investor Starboard Value has taken a new 9% position in Merit Medical Systems Inc.
In November, Activist Insight Vulnerability wrote that the $1.4 billion small-cap healthcare firm sat in the 98th percentile of companies most vulnerable to an activist in the next nine months.
In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Starboard said it had taken the stake because it believes the Merit is undervalued and that it intends to discuss ways to unlock shareholder value with management and third parties.
Merit manufactures and markets disposable medical devices used in interventional, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, particularly in cardiology, radiology, oncology, critical care and endoscopy.
The Utah-based company’s shares have fallen about 35% over the past year. Activist Insight Vulnerability noted that EBITDA had fallen more than 6% to $121.6 million in the prior 12 months and excess cash fell nearly 45% to $37.3 million.
Merit’s price-to-EBIDTA ratio is nearly half of the Activist Insight Vulnerability-selected median peer’s 22.1 at 11.9, and total shareholder returns for the past three years sits at 12.9% compared to the median peer’s 106.9%.