Montagu Considers €2 Billion IPO for BSN Medical

LONDON (Reuters) – Private equity house Montagu has hired Morgan Stanley to plan a flotation of BSN Medical, which could value the German maker of bandages at as much as 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion), two people familiar with the matter said.

Montagu had put BSN up for sale 18 months ago, but was forced to abandon the auction in the wake of the financial crisis.

The news was reported earlier by the Financial Times, which said there was also likely to be strong interest in BSN from strategic buyers, such as 3M (MMM.N) and Kimberly Clarke, and private equity groups, such as Apax Partners [APAX.UL] and Bain Capital. If they bid, Montagu may decide to sell BSN rather than float it, the FT added.

Other groups that may be interested in BSN include Cardinal Health (CAH.N) and Medline in the United States and Sweden’s Molnlycke Health Care. Molnlycke is owned by Investor AB (INVEb.ST), the holding company of Sweden’s powerful Wallenberg family.

Hamburg-based BSN was created in 2001 as a joint venture between Smith & Nephew (SN.L) and Beiersdorf (BEIG.DE). It was bought by Montagu for 1.03 billion euros in 2005.

In recent months Montagu has sold British surival-suit maker Survitec, used-car firm British Car Auctions (BCA) and German sausage-casings maker Kalle, all to fellow buyout firms.

Montagu and Morgan Stanley declined to comment. ($1=.7320 euros) (Reporting by Ben Hirschler and Quentin Webb; Editing by Rupert Winchester/Greg Mahlich)