Global Top 10: Covidien wins on way out

Feb 15, 2016
<p><span>Part of a new series of articles profiling the world&rsquo;s top-ranking IR teams</span></p>

Global Top 50 rank: 2

US Top 100 rank in 2015: 1

IR Magazine Awards won in 2015: 4

IR team size: 2

Another healthcare company, Covidien took the top position in the 2014 Global Top 50, followed by another year at number one in the 2015 US Awards. But the most unique thing about this year’s Global Top 50 number two? It doesn’t exist.

Making history, Covidien became the first company anywhere in the world to take home an IR Magazine Award and top its country rankings despite no longer existing as an independent firm. The company was taken over by Medtronic in a transaction that began in April 2014 and was completed at the end of January 2015.

‘Often, when a deal looks like it’s going to happen, the company being acquired goes to ground and lets the acquirer do all the talking. But we had continual outreach,’ says Cole Lannum, former head of IR at Covidien, speaking in the IR Magazine Investor Perception Study – US 2015. ‘All our earnings calls and releases were done on schedule – we even did one in January [2015]. Our CEO and I were both adamant we had to keep running the business as an independent entity until the deal closed.’

In fact, Covidien’s top executives attended around 80 percent of the 150 or so investor meetings held at conferences across the year, says Lannum, while Covidien’s IR team held between seven and 10 roadshows, averaging 15-20 days on the road.

Whatever the firm was doing, investors and analysts clearly appreciated it: 2015 marked the fifth consecutive year the company won both the large-cap grand prix and the award for best large-cap IRO. It also took home the accolade for best IR during a corporate transaction last year – an award it had also, ironically, won in 2014 when it spun off Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, the company that had kicked off Lannum’s IR career in the early 1990s.

Coming full circle, Lannum is now back at Mallinckrodt as head of IR in what marks his third tour of duty at the firm.

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