In 1970, Eugene Corasanti in Utica, New York founded Consolidated Medical Equipment, Inc. The first product was the disposable ECG monitoring electrode. The disposable electrode market was newly emerging at a time in the history of U.S. healthcare when disposable products were rapidly gaining acceptance.
Later renamed CONMED Corporation, our business grew by increasing our product offerings. CONMED expanded into the electrosurgery market with a line of disposable grounding pads and pencils. In 1987, the company went public issuing approximately 4 million shares. In 1989, CONMED completed its first major acquisition with the purchase of Aspen Labs from Bristol Myers Squibb making the company a very strong competitor in the electrosurgery market. In the 1990's, CONMED acquired several competitive companies that were producing ECG electrodes and electrosurgery products. In 1997, CONMED completed the acquisition of Linvatec, which made the company the number two worldwide producer of arthroscopy products and orthopaedic powered surgical instruments. In 2004, CONMED acquired the majority of the Gastroenterology and Pulmonology business from C.R. Bard accelerating its penetration into those markets. Most recently, we entered into an agreement with the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF), the world's largest tissue bank, giving us exclusive worldwide marketing rights for their sports medicine allograft tissues.
Today, CONMED manufacturers and markets thousands of products to providers across the healthcare continuum. Advanced Energy, Advanced Visualization, Arthroscopy, Gastroenterology, Laparoscopy, Powered Surgical Instruments, Pulmonary and Cardiology / Critical Care. We offer innovation and value added customer service across all of our product lines.
With multiple manufacturing and design facilities, over 3,500 employees and worldwide distribution, CONMED continues to uphold its mission after 40 years of existence. We continue to strive to improve the quality of healthcare by designing, producing and marketing innovative, high-quality products.