Private equity firms vie for EQT’s Atos Medical, sources say: Reuters

A handful of private equity firms have passed to the second round of bidding in an auction for Swedish medical devices firm Atos Medical, which could fetch around 1 billion euros ($1.15 billion), three sources familiar with the matter said.

The sources, who declined to be identified because the process is private, said Astorg, Montagu, Hellman & Friedman, PAI and Warburg Pincus had all placed indicative bids of at least 16 times Atos’s expected 2016 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of some 60 million euros, giving the asset a value of at least 960 million euros.

Swedish buyout house EQT, which owns Atos, declined to comment. All the other private equity firms either declined to comment or did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Final bids are due late this month, the sources added.

Voice implant maker Atos made earnings (EBITDA) of 265 million Swedish crowns (28.8 million euros) in 2014 on sales of 812 million, according to EQT’s website, the latest year for which figures are disclosed, but the people said earnings are growing strongly and were about 40 million euros last year.

The sources said JPMorgan was running the auction for EQT, which bought Atos in 2011 for an undisclosed amount from fellow Swedish private equity firm Nordic Capital, which in turn had bought it from Fisher Scientific in 2005.

(1 euro = 9.1891 Swedish crowns)

($1 = 0.8678 euros)

(Reporting by Sven Nordenstam and Arno Schuetze, additional reporting by Freya Berry and Pamela Barbaglia; editing by Anjuli Davies and David Evans)

Photo: Sweden’s flag is seen near the Stockholm Cathedral in Gamla Stan or the Old Town district of Stockholm, Sweden, June 9, 2010. REUTERS/Bob Strong.