Montagu had put BSN up for sale 18 months ago, but was forced to abandon the auction in the wake of the financial crisis.
There is also likely to be strong interest in BSN from buyers, such as 3M and Kimberly Clarke, and private equity groups, such as Apax Partners and Bain Capital. If these firms do mount a bid, Montagu may decide to sell BSN rather than float it. Other groups that may be interested in BSN include Cardinal Health and Medline in the US.
Hamburg-based BSN was created in 2001 as a joint venture between Smith & Nephew and Beiersdorf. It was bought by Montagu for €1.03bn in 2005. Montagu has also hired Goldman Sachs to advise on options for its French medical diagnostics business Sebia, although any possible sale or flotation of that company is probably further off.