What: CLS Ltd. (AX: CSL) agreed to buy Talecris Biotherapeutics Holdings Corp. for US$3.1 billion. Talecris is a U.S. operator of 56 blood plasma collection centers and two manufacturing facilities, and was acquired by Cerberus Capital Management and Ampersand Ventures two years ago from Bayer AG. CSL is partially financing the deal via a $1.55 billion stock placement being managed by Merrill Lynch. Talecris filed for an IPO last summer, but is expected to withdraw the filing once this transaction closes.
Why? This deal provides a massive return for Cerberus and Ampersand. And not just ordinary massive. More like massive+massive+ginomous.
The firms will receive around $2 billion combined, which Bloomberg figures is 22x their original equity investment. Moreover, there are few private equity firms that need a grand-slam more than Cerberus, which is being pummeled almost daily by Chrysler (not to mention a recent profit dive Aozora Bank).
Finally, the Talecris sale is further indication that healthcare services companies are still thriving – particularly as Boomers keep graying. Energy gets all the headlines, but it’s not the only sector that’s managed to be (near) recession-resistant.