A Palm Beach County company just engineered a merger that is likely to bring more jobs and a growing, high-profile medical industry to downtown West Palm Beach.
Watermark Medical, formerly of Boca Raton, has merged with SleepMed, the largest private sleep diagnostics and therapy provider. The pricing details between the two companies were not disclosed. However, the combined companies will have revenues of more than $100 million, a figure that is expected to grow in the double digits each year, said Sean Heyniger, who founded Watermark and now will serve as chief executive of the newly-merged entity.
At the same time, Watermark last week moved the company to West Palm Beach from Boca Raton. The West Palm Beach office will house top administrative officials, including Heyniger, a Palm Beach resident. West Palm Beach also is the new office of John Sculley, who served as Watermark’s chairman and will be chairman of the newly merged company. Sculley is the former chief executive of Apple and Pepsico. (SleepMed will retain a corporate presence in Columbia, S.C., Heyniger said.)
Heyniger said he was encouraged to make the move by West Palm Beach City Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell, and Community Redevelopment Agency Director Kim Briesemeister. “I think having the type of clean technology and jobs that we create is something attractive to the city of West Palm Beach,” Heyniger said.
Heyniger, a serial entrepreneur who has invested in several start-up companies, said Watermark Medical began in 2008 as a way for patients to have their sleep patterns studied through at-home testing, using proprietary technology. This technology allows a patient’s primary physician to dispense the test from the office and evaluate the results through the Internet with a network of board-certified sleep doctors, Heyniger said.
The deal with SleepMed allows the combined company, which will operate under the SleepMed name, to better help patients, Heyniger said. SleepMed has a team of top sleep experts and hospital partners. It also operates numerous sleep labs nationwide.
More than 40 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder, and about 20 million have Obstructive Sleep Apnea, a condition that can lead to a host of other medical problems. According to the Watermark website, OSA is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and arrhythmias.
Heyniger said the Boca Raton office has six employees, and the company employs 60 nationwide. But with the SleepMed merger, the combined company now will have more than 1,000 employees. Employment is expected to grow at the West Palm Beach office, which will handle a number of administrative and corporate functions. Heyniker needs workers skilled in finance and accounting, medical and software expertise and experience working with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
The West Palm Beach office is expected to grow to about 30 employees, he said.
“We’re delighted to have Sean’s company in West Palm Beach,” said Harvey Oyer, a West Palm Beach lawyer who serves as chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches. “It’s our understanding and belief that more highly compensated jobs will come to West Palm Beach as part of the merger.”