EQT in talks to buy Schülke from Air Liquide

EQT is in talks to buy Schülke, a German provider of hygiene solutions from Air Liquide.

EQT is in talks to buy Schülke, a German provider of hygiene solutions from Air Liquide. No financial terms were disclosed. Goldman Sachs and Deloitte acted as financial advisors to EQT on the deal while Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP provided legal advice.

PRESS RELEASE

The EQT VIII fund (“EQT” or “EQT VIII”) today announced that it has entered exclusive negotiations to acquire Schülke & Mayr GmbH (“schülke” or the “Company”), a leading provider of hygiene solutions and a subsidiary of Air Liquide S.A. (“Air Liquide”). This transaction is subject to the final and definitive agreement between the parties and will be carried out in the framework of the relevant social processes including ongoing dialogue with the employee representatives’ bodies. Furthermore, the transaction will be subject to antitrust and foreign investment clearances.

Founded in 1889 in Hamburg, schülke’s mission is to protect lives worldwide by providing critical hygiene solutions that effectively combat risks for humans and materials from infection and contamination. EQT plans to build on schülke’s current strategic agenda executed by the management team. The strategy includes investing in growth, strengthening the Company’s position in core as well as new markets, and focusing on continued R&D and new product development. EQT also intends to support schülke in staying at the forefront within sustainability and to invest in the Company’s workforce. In the short term, EQT will support schülke in its immense efforts to contribute to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing the supply of urgently needed disinfectants.

Christian Last, CEO of schülke, commented: “Today is an important milestone for schülke and we are looking forward to welcoming EQT as a partner. EQT, a purpose-driven and growth-focused European partner with strong values and vast healthcare expertise, will be able to support schülke’s continued growth ambitions and sustainable development path.”

schülke is a pioneer within infection prevention solutions and the Company has operated as a wholly owned subsidiary of Air Liquide since 1996. Today, schülke offers a diversified product portfolio, including disinfection products for hand, skin and surface, wound antisepsis products, as well as specialty additives for personal care. It serves as a reliable partner to its healthcare and industrial customers and has built a strong brand in the OTC market, especially in its core European markets. The Company employs more than 1,250 people worldwide.

The investment is in line with EQT’s thematic approach guided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG 3 Good Health and Well-being. The Company has a broad stakeholder approach acting responsibly towards customers, the environment and wider society through its commitment to high sustainability standards, including energy efficiency, life cycle analysis, employee engagement, and transparency.

Matthias Wittkowski, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT VIII, added: “EQT has followed schülke closely for over a year and the planned acquisition is a good example of how EQT is investing thematically with the trends in strong, non-cyclical businesses in our core sectors, such as healthcare. We are deeply impressed by the dedication and contribution of every single schülke employee. The Company’s mission is about protecting lives and its employees are currently working day and night to adhere to this mission in the unprecedented COVID-19 situation. This passion builds on schülke’s heritage as a global infection prevention market leader and pioneer in this space. Its comprehensive product portfolio, innovation capabilities, and high customer loyalty are unique. EQT looks forward to supporting schülke’s management team, under the leadership of Christian Last, and its employees with further investments into its critical hygiene products that protect health and well-being.”

Goldman Sachs and Deloitte acted as financial advisors to EQT. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP acted as legal advisor.
With this transaction, EQT VIII is expected to be 70-75 percent invested.

About EQT
EQT is a differentiated global investment organization with more than EUR 62 billion in raised capital and around EUR 40 billion in assets under management across 19 active funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than EUR 27 billion and approximately 159,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.
More info: www.eqtgroup.com
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About Schülke & Mayr GmbH
Schülke & Mayr GmbH, headquartered in Germany, is a leader in infection prevention and hygiene for more than 130 years. schülke develops, produces and distributes antiseptics for wound care, disinfectants, medical and cosmetic skin care products and preservatives. The company offers its customers innovative products, technologies and services in its core business fields: Healthcare, Industrial Hygiene and Personal Care. Schülke’s mission is to protect lives worldwide and therewith actively contributes to patient safety. Today, the company employs over 1,250 employees worldwide and sells its products in over 100 countries. Represented by 22 subsidiaries, schülke operates three production sites in Germany (schülke), France (Bioxal) and Brazil (Vic Pharma).
More info: www.schuelke.com