Ardian seeks first deal after spin-out

The firm, which spun out of AXA Group last month, is in exclusive talks to acquire a majority stake in French-based disinfection solutions provider Laboratoires Anios for €350m.

Ardian has entered into exclusive negotiations with Air Liquide to acquire a majority stake in Laboratoires Anios, a Lille-based business that provides disinfection solutions for hospitals. 

It is understood that the deal, which is subject to the signing of a definitive agreement and also needs to be approved by the French antitrust authorities, will be worth approximately €350 million. 

Ardian declined to comment.    

Laboratoires Anios, founded in 1898, has a presence in more than 80 countries. Its primary focus is on healthcare, but it also operates in food-processing, cosmetics, pharmaceutics industries and works with catering businesses. 

In 2012, the business recorded a turnover of €178 million, which was a 7 percent increase in organic growth compared with 2011. 

Ardian plans to expand Laboratoires Anios’ international footprint through add-on acquisitions and will also make investments in research and development, it said in the statement. 

It is Ardian’s first deal after the firm, formerly known as AXA Private Equity, spun out of AXA Group last month. Following the spin out, AXA Private Equity's executive management, including founder Dominique Senequier, managing directors Vincent Gombault and Dominique Gaillard and head of AXA Private Equity USA Benoît Verbrugghe hold a 46 percent stake in the business, making them the largest shareholders of Ardian. European institutions and French family offices collectively own 31 percent of Ardian, while AXA Group has kept a 23 percent stake in the firm. 

Ardian is currently investing its LBO Fund V, which closed on €2.41 billion last week, above its €2 billion target.  At that time, Ardian deployed 24 percent of the new fund in six European mid-market transactions, including: Riemser, a German pharmaceuticals company; Fives, a French engineering group; Lima Corporate, an Italian prosthetics company; and Trescal, a French calibration specialist.