DENVER, June 3 --Fischer Imaging Corp. announced today it has reached an agreement with Thermo Electron Corp. to accelerate remaining payments owed Fischer from a 2002 patent settlement into a single payment of $4.25 million. Together with the regular quarterly payment of $900,000, the company has received $5.15 million during the current quarter.
During the second quarter of 2002, Fischer settled a patent infringement lawsuit that it had filed against Thermo Electron and Hologic Inc. Under the $32.2 million settlement, the company received $25 million in cash during the second quarter of 2002. The balance of $7.2 million was scheduled to be received in equal annual installments of 900,000 over the remaining eight-year life of the patents for continued sales of the breast-biopsy imaging system now being sold by Hologic. The company has received two such payments, in the second quarter of 2003 and in the current quarter, leaving a balance of $5.4 million to be received over the remaining six-year patent life. That balance is now paid in full, Fischer Imaging said in a statement.
The company said that financial terms associated with the $4.25 million payment were consistent with its overall cost of funds available from other sources, such as its bank credit line.
"This agreement bolsters our cash position and allows us to accelerate our investments in product and technology improvements, said Harris Ravine, president and CEO of Fischer Imaging. "We believe it provides sufficient liquidity to meet our capital needs for the remainder of this year without having to resort to borrowing or dilutive financing alternatives."
Separately, the company said it has regained its CE mark for distribution in Europe of its MammoTest systems and has resumed shipments to Europe. The company markets MammoTest in Europe through its OEM partner, the Ethicon Endo-Surgery unit of Johnson & Johnson.
"We still face challenges in returning this company to sustainable profitability," said Gail Schoettler, chairman of the board. "However, we are pleased with the progress to date. Regaining our CE Mark, for example, reflects our continuing quality improvements, which is key to our strategy. Additionally, we believe our previously reported alliances with Cedara, Kodak and InSiteOne have enriched our solution offerings."
For more information, visit: www.fischerimaging.com