August completes InterMed turnaround

August Equity has sold InterMed Holdings, an anaesthesia equipment maker, to US healthcare specialist Altaris Capital Partners. The UK mid-market firm has been able to revive the fortunes of the company after a difficult start to its period of ownership.

UK mid-market firm August Equity has completed a successful exit from InterMed Holdings, a healthcare equipment maker, with a £27.5 million sale to US firm Altaris Capital Partners.

InterMed, which trades under the Penlon brand name, is a UK-based designer and manufacturer of anaesthesia equipment used in hospitals. Its growing US business makes it a natural fit for Altaris, a small US healthcare buyout specialist with about $500 million under management.

The secondary sale is also a positive outcome for August, which had enjoyed a difficult start to its investment in InterMed. August bought the business from UK-listed group 3i in late 2002, investing £3.4 million of equity, but the company initially struggled in difficult trading conditions. In 2004, August was forced to write down the value of its holding by £1.7 million, a 50 percent cut.

However in 2004, August brought in Simon Armstrong as chief executive officer, who has overseen a revival of InterMed’s fortunes. In addition to internal improvements, the company was also able to penetrate new markets, including the US where it had a new anaesthesia machine approved in late 2005. It now distributes to about 105 countries worldwide and employs more than 300 people.

Last year, August was able to refinance the business, allowing the firm to recoup some of its equity investment and generate working capital for further expansion.

August partner Ian Grant paid tribute to Armstrong’s work in turning the business around in the last three years: “InterMed has gained a much stronger competitive position in its key markets,” he said.