Medtronic, a leading maker of medical devices, said today it plans to spin off its Redmond division into an independent, publicly traded company.

Medtronic, a leading maker of medical devices, said today it plans to spin off its Redmond division into an independent, publicly traded company.

The new company, which makes heart defibrillators, will once again go by its original name of Physio-Control, and will be based in Redmond. It will have 1,200 employees globally in 100 countries, and estimated sales of $450 million for fiscal 2007. More than 600 of its employees are based in Redmond.

Physio-Control will continue to make the LifePak brand of external defibrillators, as well as data management products and services. Physio-Control was acquired by Minneapolis-based Medtronic in 1998.

Art Collins, chairman and chief executive of Medtronic, said in a statement that it is getting out of the defibrillator business because it wants to focus on high-growth therapies aimed at chronic diseases. Collins said the spin-off will give Physio-Control new flexibility to invest in and build its business.

Brian Webster, currently the president of Medtronic Emergency Response Systems, was named chief executive of Physio-Control. Webster has 15 years experience with the company, both when it was independent and as a division of Medtronic.

Medtronic shares were up $1.12, or 2.1 percent, to $53.28 following the announcement this morning.