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RBS tests trade buyer model

The Royal Bank of Scotland’s Leveraged Finance Group has backed Medical Innovations’ purchase of Unilever’s pregnancy test manufacturer.

The Royal Bank of Scotland’s Leveraged Finance Group has backed the purchase of Unipath from Unilever on behalf of Inverness Medical Innovations.

The banking group has provided a $70m package of senior debt facilities, working capital and a mezzanine facility.

Both Unipath and Inverness manufacture home pregnancy and ovulation test kits. Unipath makes the Clear Blue, Clear Plan and Persona kits, which are sold across Europe and the US. Both companies also have operations in clinical diagnostic testing and nutritional supplements.

Alison Rose, a director at RBS, commented: “The trade buyer nature of the transaction contrasted to our more typical model of backing private equity houses, but the management team, positive market dynamics and clear benefits of bringing the two together are a strong platform for future growth.”

The Royal Bank of Scotland Leveraged Finance is part of the bank’s Structured Finance division. It employs 500 people across eight countries. In 2001 RBS completed 190 leveraged transactions underwriting more than E6.2bn. The group has European offices in Germany, France and Italy and Spain.