VOL. 124 | NO. 238 | Friday, December 4, 2009
Luminetx to Be Acquired by Christie Digital Systems
By Tom Wilemon
Luminetx Corp. announced Thursday that its board of directors has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Christie Digital Systems Inc., which has already loaned money to the Memphis-based company.
Luminetx shareholders must approve the sale before it takes place. No other details about the proposed sale were released Thursday.
Herb Zeman, the founder of the company and the inventor of the technology for its VeinViewer products, said he did not know about the acquisition until he was contacted by the media.
“I know absolutely nothing,” Zeman said. “I will have a chance to vote on it. I haven’t seen the deal. They are saying in the press release that it’s confidential, and I haven’t seen it yet. I don’t know any more than what’s in the press release. I’m very interested, obviously, in seeing the confidential information and having a chance to vote.”
Zeman was fired from the company in 2007 but remains a major shareholder. He has been critical of moves the company has made since its departure, which he contends have put in it financial hardship. However, Zeman said he does not know how he would vote on the proposed acquisition.
“It depends how much money you are getting and when we are getting it whether I would go along with it or whether I would try to stop it,” Zeman said. “I can’t say now. I have no idea.”
Luminetx signed over the patents for the technologies behind its VeinViewer products as collateral for a loan it received from Christie, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ushio Inc., a Japanese company.
Luminetx also gave its “Contrast Enhancing Illuminator,” “Imaging System Using Diffuse Infrared Light” and “Diffuse Infrared Light Imaging System” patents over to Christie.
The conveyance occurred after Luminetx announced this summer it had settled a lawsuit alleging infringement on those same patents by another company, Accuvein LLC of Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.
Luminetx has not disclosed the amount of the loan from Christie or revealed how much money it may have received from its court settlement with Accuvein.
Under terms of the settlement agreement, Accuvein agreed to license the Luminetx technology that allows veins to be viewed easily underneath the skin, but other terms were confidential.
Luminetx began selling its VeinViewer, which is used in hospitals and doctors’ clinics, in fall 2006.