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Wilson Greatbatch Technologies is planning to raise as much as $150 million by selling convertible debt, the Clarence-based medical battery maker said.

The offering, which follows a secondary stock sale that raised $44 million in July 2001, would bring in enough money to pay off all of the company's $76.3 million in long-term debt, should the firm's executives choose to do so.

The offering, which will be for $125 million and a possible additional $25 million if demand warrants, would leave the company with as much as $74 million -- and possibly more if not all of the long-term debt is repaid -- to use for "general corporate purposes."

That could include acquisitions -- a path that Wilson Greatbatch followed after its last stock offering, when it acquired a Minnesota company that makes the casings that hold the cardiac pacemakers and implantable defibrillators that use the firm's batteries.

Wilson Greatbatch did not disclose a timetable for the sale of the convertible debt, which eventually could be turned into shares of the company's stock.

Edward F. Voboril, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said late last month that he is "fairly confident" that the company would make at least one acquisition within the next year.

Voboril said the company is looking to buy firms that would broaden its technology base or allow it to be a market leader in a product that is related to what the Clarence firm already makes.


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