Smith & Nephew

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Smith & Nephew plc
Type Public limited company
Traded as LSESN
Industry Medical equipment
Founded 1856 (Kingston upon Hull)
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Key people John Buchanan (Chairman)
Olivier Bohuon (CEO)
Revenue $4,351 million (2013)[1]
Operating income $810 million (2013)[1]
Net income $556 million (2013)[1]
Employees 11,000 (2014)[2]

Smith & Nephew plc is a British-based multinational medical equipment manufacturing company headquartered in London, United Kingdom.[3] It is the world's largest producer of arthroscopy products, second-largest producer of advanced wound management products, third-largest producer of trauma and clinical therapy products and fourth-largest producer of orthopedic reconstruction products.[2] Its products are sold in over 90 countries.[2]


The company was founded in 1856 by Thomas James Smith of Kingston upon Hull who went into business as a dispensing chemist.[4] A few months before his death in 1896, Smith was joined by his nephew, Horatio Nelson Smith, and the business became known as T.J. Smith and Nephew.[4]

In 1928 the company acquired the licence to market and produce the Elastoplast range of bandages. By 1977 the company acquired the pump manufacturer Watson-Marlow Pumps, before selling it to Spirax-Sarco Engineering in 1990.[5] In 1986 it went on to acquire Richards Medical Company, a US specialist in orthopaedic products for £201 million.[4]

In 2002 the company acquired Oratec Interventions, a surgical devices business, for $310 million.[6] It went on to buy Midland Medical Technologies, a hip resurfacing business, for £67 million in 2004.[7]

The company acquired Plus Orthopedics, a Swiss orthopedics business, for US$889 million in April 2007[8] and BlueSky, a US wound care business, for $110 million in May 2007.[9]

In September 2007 Biomet Inc., DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. (part of Johnson & Johnson), Smith & Nephew PLC and Zimmer Holdings Inc. entered into settlement agreements, under which they agree to pay $300 million in total, adopt industry overhauls and undertake corporate monitoring to avoid criminal charges of conspiracy.[10]

The company acquired Healthpoint Biotherapeutics, a specialist in the bioactives area of advanced wound management, for $782 million in December 2012.[11]

In February 2014, Smith & Nephew announced the purchase of ArthroCare for US$1.7 billion in cash. This was seen as a move to broaden the company's sports medicine range for minimally invasive surgery moves the company into the Ear, Nose & Throat market. [12]


The Smith and Nephew factory in Kingston upon Hull, United Kingdom

Smith & Nephew operates in three market segments through separate "global business units" under the Smith & Nephew brand name:

Since 2012 the Endoscopy & Orthopaedic divisions merged to form ASD (Advanced Surgical Devices).

Smith & Nephew has a track record of bringing innovative new products to market that provide better clinical outcomes for patients and save costs for healthcare providers. This is the primary focus of its fourth business unit, Biologics.

The company's business strategy is based on researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing technically innovative and advanced medical devices. In 2008 it invested $152 million in its highly regarded research and development activities – a figure that is currently around 4% of sales. The Biologics business unit, headquartered in North Carolina in the US, has strategic responsibility for product innovation and development and serves the needs of the remaining business units. The company's direct contacts with healthcare providers are a vital link in the chain. Clinicians' views of their present and future needs provide essential impetus for Smith & Nephew's research work.

The company has three focus areas of cross-business research: novel bioresorbable polymers, tissue or cell engineering, and non-invasive stimulation. Scientific Review Boards, comprising eminent academic scientists and medical professionals, provide independent assessments of the quality of the science and engineering in Smith & Nephew's business unit programmes and guidance on emerging science as necessary.


In February 2012 Smith & Nephew plc agreed to pay US$22.2 million to settle multiple US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) offenses committed by its US and German subsidiaries.[13] Under the new agreements Smith & Nephew PLC paid $5.4 million in restitution and interest to settle the SEC's civil charges. Its U.S. subsidiary Smith & Nephew Inc. paid a $16.8 million criminal fine.[14] The company admitted to having bribed government-employed doctors in Greece to use its medical equipment over the past decade.[15] The company has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and has agreed to retain a compliance monitor for 18 months.[16]


Awards include:

  • Manufacturer of the Year in 2007[17]
  • Smith & Nephew Advanced Wound Management won Logistics and Supply Chain Manufacturer Award 2006[18]
  • ASM International 2005 Engineering Materials Achievement Award for Smith & Nephew's trademarked oxinium technology[19]
  • Smith & Nephew's Back Pain Study Receives Outstanding Paper Award at North American Spine Society 2003 Annual Meeting[20]


  1. ^ a b c "Preliminary Results 2013". Smith & Nephew plc. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Smith & Nephew: At a glace
  3. ^ "SNN Profile | Smith & Nephew SNATS, Inc. Comm Stock - Yahoo! Finance". Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c "Smith & Nephew History". Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "Watson-Marlow profile". Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Smith & Nephew to buy Oratec for $310mm in cash Windhover Information, February 2002
  7. ^ Smith & Nephew buys UK hip resurfacing business Biomedical Materials, 1 May 2004
  8. ^ Smith & Nephew buys Swiss company Plus Orthopedics Biomedical Materials, 1 April 2007
  9. ^ Smith & Nephew buys wound care firm BlueSky for $110m Independent, 12 May 2007
  10. ^ Biomet stays part of informal SEC probe Reuters, 11 October 2007
  11. ^ Smith & Nephew to Buy Healthpoint for $782 Million Bloomberg, 28 November 2012
  12. ^ [1] Bloomberg 3 February 2014
  13. ^ The FCPA Blog (6 February 2012). "Smith & Nephew Reaches $22 Million Settlement". The FCPA Blog. 
  14. ^ "Smith & Nephew to pay $22.2M in US settlements". 6 February 2012. 
  15. ^ Andrew Jack (6 February 2012). "Smith & Nephew in $22m bribes fine". The Financial Times. 
  16. ^ Office of Public Affairs (6 February 2012). "Medical Device Company Smith & Nephew Resolves Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Investigation". The United States Department of Justice. 
  17. ^ Smith & Nephew wins manufacturing award On Target, 2007
  18. ^ Oliver Wright
  19. ^ Smith & Nephew wins award for oxinium technology Bimedical Materials, 1 November 2005
  20. ^ North American Spine Society 2003 Annual Meeting Smith & Nephew Press Release


  1. J Foreman-Peck, Smith & Nephew in the Health Care Industry, Edward Elgar 1995

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