Morrisville-based TransEnterix is going public – but not on its own.

The venture capital-backed firm says it is merging with SafeStitch Medical, a publicly traded firm based in Florida.

TransEnterix investors will own 65 percent of the combined venture.The combined company will be based in the Triangle.

The deal includes the issuance of 7.5 million new shares of stock that will be sold to investors, including Dr. Phillip Frost, listed as “one of the largest beneficial owners of the Company’s common stock” in an SEC filing about the deal, and Dr. Jane Hsiao, who is chairman of SafeStitch.

of the Board (collectively, the “Related-Party Investors”)

SafeStitch is traded over the counter under the symbol SFES, and initially the merged venture will trade under that symbol. 

SFES shares traded at 90 cents early Wednesday.

The deal was announced before the markets opened Wednesday, down 2 cents from Tuesday’s close. SFES traded as low as 21 cents and as high as 92 cents over the past year. 

The combined company will be led by Todd Pope, who is the chief executive officer of TransEnterix.

Last week, TransEnterix said it was raising $2.5 million in new financing. In 2011, the company raised $15 million. In 2009, it secured $55 million in venture capital.

“We believe this merger will significantly enhance our ability to bring our innovative robotic surgery platform to market,” Pope said in a statement.

Paul LaViolette, chairman of the TransEnterix board, will lead the combined board.

SafeStitch is based in Miami.

“We are excited about the breadth of the management team of TransEnterix,” said Dr. Jane Hsiao, chairwoman of SafeSticth.” There are compelling advantages to innovative flexible technologies and robotics for less invasive surgical interventions, such as our proprietary trans-oral device. This merger will provide greater resources to help bring the pipeline products of the combined company to market and offer our shareholders an excellent opportunity to realize significant value of their investment.”

Added Pope: “Drs. Frost and Hsiao have a proven track record of driving healthcare innovation while creating significant value for shareholders. We expect the company will be at the forefront of advancements in minimally invasive surgery.”

SafeStitch Medical developed and received FDA approval to market the AMID Hernia Fixation Device for both hernia repairs.

The companies said the deal is expected to close in the third quarter.