Montagu buys Danish animal drugs firm

Montagu Private Equity, the European mid-market private equity firm, has completed the buyout of LEO Animal Health, a Danish maker of animal health products, for around €100m.

LEO Animal Health, which is to be renamed VetXX in April, has been acquired by Montagu Private Equity from Danish pharmaceutical business LEO Pharma. The consideration for the deal was officially undisclosed, but it is thought to be around €100 million ($131 million). SEB has provided undisclosed debt facilities for the deal. 

“It’s a company we’ve tracked for a very long time,” Montagu Private Equity’s Peter Dahlberg told PEO. “We have had a continuous dialogue with management and the vendor, which viewed the business as non-core. The vendor was for a long time uncertain as to when would be the best time to sell.” The deal enables LEO Pharma to concentrate on its core activity of developing medicines for humans.

Based in Ballerup and Uldum, Denmark, LEO Animal Health distributes animal health products through veterinary surgeries and specialises in areas such as dermatology, opthalmology and otology (skin, eye and ear diseases). It also produces pet diet food and various pet care products.

Dahlberg said a strategic review was currently underway to determine how the business can be better positioned within European markets, including building on its existing positions within the UK and France. He added that the business would be seeking to introduce two new product lines within the next two years, but declined to give further details at this stage.

Under its new ownership, the incumbent management team is being retained and has been given a 12 percent equity stake. The team is headed by chief executive Jens Ingwersen.

Montagu launched a specialist Nordic deal team 18 months ago, comprising Matt Lyons and Dahlberg. They operate out of the firm’s Stockholm office, but Dahlberg says they spend a lot of time in London as well as travelling around the Nordic region.

Last month, Montagu announced the sale of portfolio company Finnish Chemicals to Kemira for €345 million, subject to regulatory clearance.