EQT Partners snatches up medical supply company BSN in $2.5B deal

After speculation first broke over the weekend, the deal is now official. EQT Partners AB of Sweden is snatching up Germany's BSN Medical from Montagu Private Equity for a cool €1.8 billion ($2.5 billion), with an eye toward expanding the medical supply company's presence in Asia and other emerging markets.

Founded as a joint venture between Beiersdorf and Smith & Nephew ($SNN) in 2001, BSN supplies wound care, compression therapy and orthopedic products to hospitals, pharmacies and other related customers.

So why would EQT be interested? It's all about growth in new parts of the world, EQT partner Marcus Brennecke said in a statement, with a particular focus on Asia and Latin America. BSN is seriously global already, with production facilities in Germany, France, Colombia, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, the U.S. and Venezuela, according to the announcement. But Asia is also a major lure for device companies and suppliers seeking to expand, as their med tech market advances rapidly and the region's healthcare systems continues to modernize.

Bloomberg wrote about the sale negotiations between Montagu and EQT's EQT VI fund on June 9, speculating that a final deal was close. Montagu bought BSN in 2006 for about €1 billion ($1.25 billion), according to the story, and has tried and failed since then to either sell BSN or launch an initial public offering. Also noted in the piece: The deal would become German's largest buyout so far this year.

BSN is based in Hamburg and employs about 4,000 people, according to the announcement. The company generates sales that near €700 million ($877 million). The EQT VI fund, by the way, launched in 2011 with €4.75 billion (nearly $6 billion) to invest.

- read the Bloomberg story
- here's the deal announcement

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