In late 2009, after divesting non-core assets, Covidien leveraged its Strategy and Business Development team to identify a new platform to deliver on its strategic imperative of profitable revenue growth.

Working collaboratively with his colleagues, Dennis and the Covidien team established specific acquisition criteria to rank various opportunities and, subsequently, identified specific targets which met that criterion. After reducing the field of targets into three high priority areas, Covidien entered preliminary discussions and quickly focused on its preferred target, ev3.

In addition to the underlying growth of the company, ev3 helped to secure Covidien’s position in the market for the treatment of peripheral arterial disease, which, at the time, was a nice complement to previous acquisitions made by Covidien — VNUS Medical Technologies and Bacchus Vascular — that were focused on the treatment of venous disease. The neurovascular business of ev3 also provided a new, high growth market segment on which to build a successful business unit. Lastly, Covidien would provide the necessary resources for both the peripheral vascular and neurovascular business units to execute on significant inorganic opportunities to expand their respective product portfolios.

Dennis and his team ran a focused acquisition process on the $2.6 billion public transaction that took less than four months to complete. Eventually, several years later, the very attractive peripheral and neurovascular franchise became a key rationale for the acquisition of Covidien by Medtronic.