THE GLOOM around private equity was lifted yesterday when London buyout firm Montagu closed the auction of German bandages firm BSN Medical with a sale for around €1.8bn (£1.45bn).
Sweden’s EQT has agreed to buy the €665m turnover firm in one of Europe’s largest deals this year. BSN had attracted interest from personal care group Kimberly Clark and buyout firms including BC Partners and CVC, who made a joint bid.
The sale will come as a relief for Montagu, which bought BSN for €1.03bn in December 2005 and has made three times its money on the equity.
Montagu, the owner of waste management firm Biffa and hair straightener GHD, was successful in its third attempt to exit BSN. In 2008 it was forced to abandon a sale because of the financial crisis and two years later it failed with a flotation valuing the company at as much as €2bn.
Yesterday’s deal, which is subject to statutory regulatory clearances, gives EQT control of a relatively recession-proof business.
“We view BSN as a highly attractive growth case with strong resilience across the business cycle,” said Marcus Brennecke, partner at EQT Partners in Germany.
“While continuing to strengthen the position in key markets and in key product segments, there is tremendous potential in entering new geographic markets, especially in Asia and Latin America,” he added.
BSN Medical markets its wound and fracture care products internationally under a range of brand names including Gypsona, Actimove and Cutimed.
It posted 2011 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of roughly €175m.
Goldman Sachs and HSBC worked as sell side advisers. Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank advised EQT.