Washington area spinal device firm debuts on Nasdaq; shares start selling at $15

Leesburg-based K2M Group Holdings debuted on the Nasdaq exchange on Thursday at $15 per share, reaping $120 million in net proceeds for the medical device company.

The 414-employee firm, which takes its name from the world’s second-highest mountain, issued 8.825 million shares on its first day.

The initial share price is lower than the company had hoped; it estimated earlier that shares would price in the range of $16 to $18, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The stock finished its first day of trading where it started, at $15 a share.

K2M, which is trading under the symbol KTWO, has developed patented products such as screws, plates and surgical tools to treat spinal injuries and deformities, all aimed at being less invasive than other products.

The company was founded 10 years ago by a group of businessmen including Washington area investors Lewis Parker and son-in-law Eric Major, who targeted the $2.6 billion market around spinal injuries and deformities. Another co-founder is John Kostuik, the chairman and chief medical officer, who was a professor of orthopedic surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Major said that the $15 IPO price was “a very good price,” given the market’s recent gyrations.

“We’re very happy where it is,” he said.

Major said that he and his seven top executives did not sell stock in the IPO and that they plan to keep their shares for now.

“This is a milestone event for the business to keep on growing,” he said. “It doesn’t make sense, personally, to take any money off the table.”

Major and his investors and business team made the trip to the Nasdaq’s New York headquarters, where he rang the opening bell Thursday.

The company said it will use the proceeds to retire debt and for working capital.

For its fiscal year ending Dec. 31, K2M lost $37.9 million on revenue of $158 million. As of that date, the company had an accumulated deficit of $70.6 million, according to SEC filings.

The firm has offices in the United States, Britain, Germany and Italy, and it sells its products in 29 countries.

The company said in its filings that it owns or has applications on 338 patents, and that it expects to introduce more than 10 products over the next year as it tackles the $2.6 billion market for treating spinal injuries.

Parker is owner of Willowcroft Farm Vineyards in Leesburg, Va. He is a turnaround specialist with a history of working with medical firms specializing in orthopedics, having served as a principal at Parkwood, and he is a strategic adviser to K2M.

He was vice president of Hazleton Laboratories before it was sold to Corning Glass Works in 1987. He also was chief financial officer of Kirschner Medical, which was sold to Biomet in 1994.

Capital Business is The Post’s weekly publication focusing on the region’s business community. For more Washington business news, go to www.capbiz.biz.

Thomas Heath is a local business reporter and columnist, writing about entrepreneurs and various companies big and small in the Washington Metropolitan area. Previously, he wrote about the business of sports for The Post’s sports section for most of a decade.
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