Healthcare sector mergers and acquisitions comment – March 2008


March was another interesting month in the medical devices sector, including the sale of Summit Medical to The Riverside Company in a £36m deal. The vendors were advised by Clearwater Corporate Finance.

Summit Medical is a designer and manufacturer of world class medical devices primarily for the orthopaedic sector, including bone cement mixing devices, autologous blood transfusion devices, specialist orthopaedic implants and disposable privacy curtains. Summit has found a new owner which has the geographical coverage and relationships to support its future growth strategy in international markets and is now seeking further acquisitions as part of the ongoing consolidation in the sector.

Clearwater also attended the global Healthcare and Life Sciences meeting in Washington DC this month. The clear view from its members was a continued high level of M&A activity in the medical devices, healthcare services and pharmaceutical sectors.

Deals completed in the UK

BUPA Ltd, the provider of care services, has acquired the Cromwell Hospital in London for £90m. BUPA intends to invest a further £30m in the hospital over the next two years to create a centre of excellence for private patients.

UniPhar Group plc, the Irish supplier of pharmaceuticals, has acquired Forth Medical Ltd and NorthStar Orthopaedics Ltd for £23m. Forth Medical and NorthStar Orthopaedics are suppliers of medical devices and are both based in Newbury.

Paragon UK Ltd, the provider of residential care services, has acquired Homelife Options Ltd for an undisclosed sum. Homelife is a provider of supported living services in Nottingham and will allow Paragon to build on its portfolio of services for people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and physical disabilities.

VWR International Inc, the US supplier of laboratory products, has acquired Jencons (Scientific) Ltd for an undisclosed sum. Jencons is a distributor of scientific laboratory consumables and equipment.

ECI, the private equity firm, has acquired Premier Research Group plc for £60m. ECI intends to use Premier as a vehicle to acquire other companies in the laboratory research and pharmaceutical services sector.

Celesio AG, the German distributor of pharmaceuticals, has acquired Munro Group Ltd’s pharmacy business for an undisclosed sum. The acquisitions was made via Celesio’s Lloyds Pharmacy subsidiary.

Southern Cross, the hospital operator and provider of care services, has acquired Portland Group Ltd for £42m. Portland is an operator of seven care homes providing day-care and full-time care services.

Covidien Ltd, the US manufacturer of medical devices and equipment, has acquired Tissue Science Laboratories plc for £76.3m. Tissue Science Laboratories is a developer of tissue repair technologies which will accelerate Covidien’s entry into the growing biologic hernia repair market.

Charterhouse Capital Partners has acquired Tunstall Group Ltd, the supplier of healthcare technology solutions, for £514m. The vendor, Bridgepoint Capital, is reinvesting in the business to take an approximate 18% stake.

CVS Group plc, the provider of veterinary services, has acquired the small animal and equine business of Animed LLP for £1.6m. The acquisition is part of CVS’ strategy of acquiring veterinary practices which are well established within their local community and that have a reputation for high quality services.

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