Buyout firm EQT taps JPMorgan for $2.2 billion BSN sale, say sources: Reuters

Swedish buyout firm EQT has hired JPMorgan (JPM.N) to handle the sale of German bandage and plaster cast maker BSN medical in a deal expected to be worth more than 2 billion euros ($2.25 billion), three sources familiar with the situation said on Wednesday.

EQT, which acquired 69 percent of BSN medical in 2012 for 1.8 billion euros, is looking to launch a so-called dual track process allowing it to sell or list the business toward the end of the year depending on market conditions, the sources said.

EQT and JPMorgan declined to comment.

The business, which employs over 5,500 people across the world, is already being looked at by some U.S. heavyweight private equity funds which are expected to show interest, the sources said.

BSN’s sale would represent the second exit from a healthcare business for Stockholm-based EQT this year after it agreed to sell its medical device firm Atos Medical to PAI Europe for 850 million euros in May.

Buyout funds are keen to invest in the healthcare industry, seen as resilient and capable of generating stable revenues even in a tough market.

PAI Partners recently agreed to buy French drugmaker Ethypharm for about 750 million euros from fellow private equity firm Astorg, valuing it at more than 12 times its 2015 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 60 million euros.

BSN Medical could fetch a multiple of at least 10 times its core earnings of about 200 million euros, the sources said.
The Hamburg-based company was set up in 2001 as a joint venture between Germany’s Beiersdorf AG and Britain’s Smith & Nephew as the two companies decided to combine operations in wound care, fracture management, physiotherapy and compression therapy.

EQT has grown the business over the years through a series of acquisitions as part of a buy-and-build strategy to expand BSN’s operations in markets including France, Brazil, South Africa and New Zealand.