Voice box maker Atos Medical goes on the chopping block for €1B: WSJ

Atos Medical's Provox FreeHands FlexiVoice device--Courtesy of Atos Medical

In the latest chapter of med tech M&A, Swedish private equity firm EQT Holdings is putting local medical device company Atos Medical up for sale for about €1 billion ($1.1 billion).

Both sides are staying quiet on details. But J.P. Morgan is advising Stockholm-based EQT about a potential sale, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Malmö, Sweden-based Atos Medical makes devices to treat ear, nose and throat conditions. The company specializes in products for individuals who have had a total laryngectomy, a procedure that surgically removes their voice boxes. Atos' Provox voice prosthesis helps regenerate speech in patients.

Whoever signs on the dotted line for Atos will inherit a profitable business. The company's sales between 2012 and 2014 jumped 23% to 812 Swedish kronor ($95 million). Atos' earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization increased 47% to 265 million kronor during the same period.

Atos has grown by leaps and bounds since EQT bought the company in 2011 from fellow private equity firm Nordic Capital. The devicemaker has expanded internationally and now does business in countries such as Japan, Brazil and Italy. This could be an attractive selling point for companies looking to broaden their international reach.

The sale comes on the heels of more med tech M&A. Earlier this week, battle-worn Japanese devicemaker Toshiba said that it was considering selling its entire medical equipment unit as it faces rising restructuring costs. The company had previously said that it would sell at least 51% of the business.

A deal could be a game-changer for Toshiba as it attempts to recover from a previous accounting scandal. The unit could fetch between ¥400 billion to ¥500 billion ($3.5 billion to $4.4 billion), or reach ¥650 billion as companies look for medical device businesses with strong growth prospects, people familiar with the matter told Reuters earlier this week.

- read the WSJ story (sub. req.)

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