Smiths Group’s medical devices arm could be sold to private equity as foreign buyers swoop on British firms
Smiths Group’s medical devices arm could be sold to private equity as foreign buyers swoop on British firms.
At least six potential buyers have shown interest in the division, the Mail understands, with two said to be mulling a bid.
It comes after the group revealed plans to spin off its healthcare business, Smiths Medical, so it can focus on industrial technology.
On the market?: Smiths Medical supplies hospitals with crucial equipment including breathing apparatus, patient monitors and catheters
The company originally said in March it would list the separated division on the stock market in its own right, with analysts putting its value at around £2billion. But Smiths is now understood to be considering a deal that would see the medical business taken private instead.
Smiths Medical supplies hospitals with crucial equipment including breathing apparatus, patient monitors and catheters.
A spokesman last night declined to comment on what the firm branded ‘speculation’.
However, sources told the Mail that the company’s bankers have been in contact with private equity firms Cinven, Blackstone, KKR, Bain Capital, BC Partners and Permira about the spin-off plans.
Of those firms, Cinven is understood to be mulling a bid.
Blackstone was also reported to be considering one but talks were said to be at an early stage.
If the medical devices division is sold to one of the interested parties, it would be the latest example of a major British businesses being sold in a private equity mega-deal.
FTSE 100-listed Smiths Group, which was founded in 1851, has insisted its plan to spin off its medical arm will create ‘two stronger companies’.
A plan to merge it with American rival ICU Medical also fell through last year during the final stage of negotiations.
Cinven and Blackstone declined to comment. KKR and BC Partners could not be reached for comment.
Permira and Bain were approached but did not respond last night.