Apax scrubs up in £173m medical deal

Apax Partners has completed the acquisition of Regent Medical, a UK-based manufacturer of latex and synthetic surgical gloves and medical antiseptics.

Global private equity firm Apax Partners has acquired the regent infection control business of SSL international, the global healthcare organisation, for £173 million (€260 million; $317 million).

The UK-headquartered division, Regent Medical, manufactures and distributes powder-free latex and synthetic surgical gloves and a range of medical antiseptics used in hospitals as skin cleansers for staff and patients.

Sales of Regent in the year to 31st March 2004 were £118 million, generating an operating profit of £28 million. Of the transaction value of £173 million, £163 million has been paid in cash or equivalent with Regent assuming the remaining £10 million in debt.

Commenting on the transaction in a statement, London-based Apax director Ian Jones said: “Regent already has two leading brands in the international healthcare market. We look forward to working with the excellent management team and workforce to expand the Regent business further over the coming years.”

Apax recently acquired Dutch-language publishers PCM Uitgevers for €720 million and joined forces with US-based media private equity firm Spectrum Equity Investors to acquire NEP Broadcasting for $320 million.

Apax Partners’ global private equity business manages more than $12 billion in capital.