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Synovis Life Technologies (SYNO) To Begin Transition To Direct U.S. Sales Organization For Synovis Surgical Innovations (SYNO)


10/19/2005 5:12:55 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn., Sept. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Synovis Life Technologies, Inc. , announced today that its Surgical Innovations division has started the process of transitioning from independent distributors and representatives to a direct sales force in its U.S. markets. This transition will be implemented in phases and is expected to be completed over the next 18 months.

"We believe the time has arrived when a direct sales force is our best avenue to the revenue potential of our substantial current and future market opportunities," said Karen Gilles Larson, Synovis president and chief executive officer. "The time and focus required to reach our target markets effectively are simply not available through the independent sales channel. We sincerely appreciate the efforts of all of those who have represented our products in the marketplace over the years, and the mutual growth we experienced."

In August, the company named Tom Doorley vice president of sales for its Surgical Innovations division. Doorley, a medical industry veteran with 25 years of sales experience, is responsible for building and managing the Surgical Innovations' sales organization.

"Synovis' national and regional sales management team has many years of tenure with the company, and combined with Tom's experience and leadership, we are well prepared to expand our sales force," said David Buche, vice president and chief operating officer of Synovis Surgical Innovations. "We plan to expand our sales force to approximately 25 sales representatives and make the transition smooth and seamless for our customers. We will ensure the phase- out of our distribution sales force is appropriate and consistent with our company values."

While Synovis expects long-term benefits from a direct sales force, the company may see short-term disruptions in Surgical Innovations' sales and will incur additional costs during the transition. Current distributors and independent sales representatives have been notified about the change. The move to direct sales does not affect Synovis Micro Companies Alliance, which offers microsurgery products, or the company's interventional business. Outside the United States, the surgical business will continue to work with independent distributors.

About Synovis Life Technologies

Synovis Life Technologies, Inc., based in St. Paul, Minn., is a diversified medical device company engaged in developing, manufacturing and bringing to market medical devices for the surgical and interventional treatment of disease. For additional information on Synovis Life Technologies and its businesses, visit the company's Web site at http://www.synovislife.com .

Forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The statements can be identified by words such as "should", "could", "may", "will", "expect", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate", "continue", or other similar expressions. Certain important factors that could cause results to differ materially from those anticipated by the forward-looking statements made herein include, but are not limited to, the effectiveness of the present distribution sales force during the transition, the rate and effectiveness of hiring and training new sales representatives on Synovis products, the ability to successfully convert hospital purchasing from previous distribution to direct sales, the amount and timing of costs associated with the transition and the ever-present potential of increased competition, as well as the other factors found in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended October 31, 2004.

Synovis Life Technologies, Inc.

CONTACT: Nancy A. Johnson, +1-612-455-1745, or Marian Briggs,+1-612-455-1742, both of Padilla Speer Beardsley Inc.; or Brett Reynolds,CFO of Synovis Life Technologies, Inc., +1-651-796-7300


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