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LeMaitre Vascular sets up Italian sales force

LeMaitre Vascular : 01 October, 2007  (New Product)
LeMaitre Vascular has reached an agreement to launch a direct sales force in Italy in January 2008.
LeMaitre Vascular currently sells its products in Italy through an exclusive distribution agreement with Serom Medical Technologies. LeMaitre Vascular and Serom agreed to terminate Serom's exclusive rights on January 25, 2008 in exchange for the payment of an undisclosed sum. Serom had previously held exclusive distribution rights in Italy from 1992 through Q4 2008.

Net revenues of LeMaitre Vascular products sold to Serom in 2006 totalled approximately euros 0.9 million, more than any other LeMaitre Vascular distributor. LeMaitre Vascular believes that Serom's hospital-level sales approximated euros 1.9 during this same period. LeMaitre Vascular expects to open an office in Rome in Q4 2007 and commence direct sales to Italian hospitals in Q1 2008.

LeMaitre has hired a general manager of its Italian operations to manage a smooth market transition. Serom will provide a range of consulting services designed to facilitate this transition.

'Selling direct in Italy allows us to develop closer relationships with our vascular surgeon customers and also allows us to capture higher gross margins,' added Peter R Gebauer, president, International of LeMaitre Vascular. 'Italy is at the forefront of the endovascular revolution and is the largest aortic Stent Graft market in Europe. We look forward to having a direct sales presence in this market.'

'This is the continued execution of the 'Go-Direct' strategy that we initiated in 1998 in Germany, and that we have continued in the UK, Japan, the Benelux, Austria, Sweden, and this year France,' said George W LeMaitre, chairman and CEO of LeMaitre Vascular. 'This is the natural conclusion to a long and mutually productive relationship with Serom.'

LeMaitre Vascular expects to record a charge of approximately $1.1 million in Q3 2007 as a result of this transaction.
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