Blackstone leads the bidding for Apax healthcare asset

Blackstone and the Wallenbergs take an early lead in the €3 billion race for Mölnlycke, a Swedish medical products manufacturer.

The Blackstone Group and the Wallenberg family are reportedly leading the €3 billion chase for Mölnlycke, a Swedish healthcare business owned by UK firm Apax Partners.

Blackstone has submitted a bid of at least €2.5 billion for Mölnlycke, according to banking sources, while Bloomberg reports that the Swedish Wallenberg family is also among the leading bidders.

Apax had previously been planning to float the business but is now considering a sale instead, according to the report, with bids due today.

Any sale would represent a quick exit for Apax, who only bought Mölnlycke in 2005. Nordic Capital, the Swedish buyout firm that previously owned Mölnlycke, established the company in 1997 when it bought and merged the clinical divisions of the SCA/ Mölnlycke Group in Sweden and Tamro Oy in Finland. 

Since buying the company just eighteen months ago, Apax has merged the business with two of its portfolio companies, Regent Medical and Medlock Medical to form Mölnlycke Health Care AB. The new business has two divisions: one makes wound dressings and the other makes surgical products.

Blackstone’s current healthcare portfolio includes Emcure, an Indian pharmaceutical firm, US hospital staffing provider TeamHealth, UK care home business Southern Cross, and Vanguard, a US-based acute care hospital operator.

Blackstone declined to comment, while Investor AB, the Wallenbergs’ investment vehicle, could not be reached.