EQT buys 20 percent of German artificial limb maker Otto Bock: Reuters

Swedish buyout group EQT has agreed to buy a 20 percent stake in Otto Bock HealthCare GmbH, valuing the German artificial limb maker at 3.15 billion euros ($3.52 billion), the two parties said on Saturday.

EQT beat rival investor CVC, confirming a Reuters report from last month that it had emerged as the leading bidder to help the family-owned company finance further growth and prepare for an initial public offering (IPO).

“We continue pursuing the possibility of an IPO. However, such a step will come later rather than sooner thanks to the partnership with EQT,” said Hans Georg Naeder, the president and owner of the parent company and grandson of its founder.

Otto Bock, which was founded in 1919 as a maker of prosthetics for World War One veterans, had previously said it wanted to go public in 2018 or 2019.

The stake purchase is subject to approval by cartel authorities and expected to close in the second half of 2017.
EQT specializes in family-owned companies and has a focus on medical technology. It has investments in hearing aid specialist Sivantos, formerly Siemens Audiology Solutions, and Italian internal prosthesis maker Lima.