IK offloads Vemedia as it races toward first close

The London-based firm is currently in market with its eighth flagship fund, targeting €1.6 billion.

London-based IK Investment Partners has agreed to sell Vemedia Group to a portfolio company held by fellow private equity house Charterhouse Capital Partners, according to a statement.

Financial terms of the transaction were undisclosed.

IK acquired Vemedia, a producer and distributor of over the counter drugs, food supplements and medical devices, in December 2012 using capital from its IK 2007 Fund, which closed on €1.7 billion. Following the sale there are four unrealised businesses remaining in the portfolio.

Investors in IK 2007 Fund include New York State Teachers’ Retirement System, West Midlands Pension Fund, HarbourVest Partners, Blackstone Strategic Partners and Swedbank Robur, according to PEI data.

During IK’s ownership Vemedia, which is headquartered in the Netherlands, invested heavily in two of its key brands, entered the French market, expanded its export business and completed six add-on acquisitions.

The business is being acquired by La Coopération Pharmaceutique, a French over the counter drug manufacturer and distributor which Charterhouse acquired last year for €700 million in what was the first transaction from Charterhouse Capital Partners X, which is currently in market seeking €3 billion.

The firm held a first close on the vehicle, which officially came to market in January 2015, on €1.5 billion last September, as reported by PEI.

Investors in Fund X include the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, the Virginia Retirement System, the Maine Public Employees Retirement System, and the Public Employees Retirement Association of New Mexico, according to PEI data.

“Recent organic initiatives and acquisitions have shown that Vemedia is a platform for growth and consolidation in the European OTC drugs market, providing a strong rationale for the acquisition,” Charterhouse said in the statement. “Over the coming months we will work with both management teams to integrate the businesses and identify further consolidation opportunities.”

IK will be keen to return capital to investors as it continues to fundraise for its eighth flagship vehicle.

It is understood that IK VIII, which was launched in the spring and is targeting €1.6 billion, is close to holding a first close on €1 billion.

The Minnesota State Board of Investment has committed $150 million to the vehicle, according to PEI data.

The firm’s previous fund held a final close on €1.4 billion in 2013, having initially targeted €1.7 billion.

In March IK closed its debut small-cap vehicle on its €277 million hard-cap after a year on the road. Campbell Lutyens acted as placement agent for the fund, which counts SL Capital, Ardian and the European Investment Fund among its investors.