Main Minnesota’s newest IPO is Dutch
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Minnesota’s newest IPO is Dutch

12 February, 2011
Minnesota has launched another publicly held medical products company, although this one is headquartered in the Netherlands.

Minnesota has launched another publicly held medical products company, although this one is headquartered in the Netherlands.

Medical device company Tornier has raised about $165 million through an initial public offering at $18 per share. The stock closed Friday at $18.09.

Tornier's CEO is Edina-based Doug Kohrs, the veteran medical technology executive who has been part of two successful Minnesota medical IPOs -- Spinetech (1995) and American Medical Systems (2000).

Kohrs, 53, a Texas-bred engineer who is based at the company's U.S. headquarters in Edina, can't talk much about Tornier's prospects until it emerges from the IPO-related no-chatting period in March.

Tornier is a niche player, developing products for surgeons who treat musculoskeletal injuries and disorders of the shoulder, wrist, hand, foot, elbow and ankle. It is viewed as a growth area as the parts of aging baby boomers wear out.

The company, which has yet to report 2010 results, lost about $30 million during the first nine months of last year on revenue that rose about 15 percent to $166 million, according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. About $115 million of the proceeds from the IPO will pay down debt.

Tornier raised less money than it had hoped because the appetite for med-tech companies is soft right now, as investors try to figure out to what extent U.S. health care reform and related cost restraints are going to cool the medical-technology arms race. Kohrs, who was paid a base salary of nearly $500,000 last year, has hired Carmen Diersen as Tornier's chief financial officer, a job she held under Kohrs at American Medical Systems several years ago. The company has about 775 employees, a quarter of whom are based in the United States. Minnesota employment under Kohrs has grown to 60 from two in 2006.


Ads for Doritos drew the most attention in the social media and online world during the Super Bowl, according to a tracking analysis done by Minneapolis ad agency Colle+McVoy. Doritos got twice as many hits as the second most-mentioned ad, for Groupon. Colle+McVoy said Best Buy's Ozzy Osbourne/Justin Bieber ad also scored well, while the Snickers ad featuring Roseanne Barr being slammed by a log couldn't come close to last year's version of the ad with Betty White.


Joe Barsky, the former Ameriprise Financial investment executive, is leaving the Carlson School of Management in May. Barsky oversees the student-run Carlson Funds Enterprise. The year-long Carlson Funds course has proven a great learning-and-résumé-enhancing experience for several dozen students annually who research and invest in companies.

It also is one of the business school's best connectors to the Twin Cities investment management community, said Matt Dudley, a U of M-minted MBA, employee at the Leuthold Investment Group and chairman of the fund's enterprise professional advisory board.

"[The demise of the program] was presented to us in August as a 'fait accompli''' by the dean's office, Dudley said. "It will be open for [at least] another year. The board has taken action that we think will enable the program to pay completely for itself. It pays for about 90 percent now.'' Barsky's assistant will stay on to help manage the fixed-income fund. Dudley said the board is looking for Barsky's short-term successor.

Dudley said the administration cited expected state budget cuts to the U of M for the decision. The Carlson Funds complex has total expenses of about $500,000 annually, including Barsky's salary of about $100,000. Barsky, 61, is part of the lower-paid "staff" and not the academic faculty who run the show.

Barsky, an MBA from Pennsylvania, was said to be tired of academic infighting and bugged that he didn't learn until after the fact that his program was to be eliminated.

"Time to move on," Barsky said last week. In a recent note to investors and supporters, Barsky wrote: ''The Carlson Funds Enterprise has grown to become the second-largest student managed investment fund in the world with $18 million in the growth fund and $17 million in the fixed income fund. We've educated students, enjoyed outstanding performance, and had lots of job success thanks to you. It's been fun, a great run."


  • Dorsey & Whitney scored a new partner earlier this week to run its Shanghai office: Peter Corne, head of the Shanghai office for London-based Eversheds, one of the largest law firms in the world. The well-respected Corne brings expertise in mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring and foreign investment strategies. Dorsey managing partner Marianne Short said Corne's hiring "is a significant step" in expanding the firm's presence in the rapidly growing China marketplace.
  • Thrivent Financial mutual funds were highly ranked among 57 fund families for the 2010 mixed-equity funds category in the Lipper/Barron's Fund Family sweepstakes. Thrivent received an overall ranking of 13th out of the 57, according to the Feb. 7 issue of Barron's, for the year ending Dec. 31.

Staff writer David Phelps contributed to this column (

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