West PE buys healthcare business

The mid-market private equity unit of WestLB has agreed to pay E48m for LVL Medical’s UK-based Clinovia unit.

West Private Equity, the mid-market private equity unit of German bank WestLB, has backed a £33.4m (E48m) management buy-in at Clinovia, the UK-based operations of French-listed oxygen therapy group LVL Medical.


Clinovia, which provides homecare and community healthcare services, is being backed by a new management team led by Robbie Burns (CEO) and David Lyon (CFO), both of whom are former main board directors of Nestor Healthcare Group.


Burns said in a statement that Clinovia plans to broaden the range of services offered to patients, customers and business partners, helping acute hospitals trusts and primary care trusts (PCTs) to deliver patient care targets set by the Department of Health.


We are delighted to have formed this partnership with West Private Equity to acquire Clinovia,” said Burns. “The deal with West Private Equity will allow Clinovia to accelerate its development and to support strong future growth.”


West PE is understood to have beaten off competition from a number of private equity firms, including 3i, HgCapital, Phoenix Equity Partners and Bridgepoint Capital.


Financing for the transaction has been arranged by Barclays Capital. According to West Private Equity managing director Jeremy Hand, the financing package includes significant working capital from both West Private Equity and Barclays Bank to boost Clinovia’s financial position to underpin its future growth plans. Hand declined to give further details of the acquisition financing.


The deal is the second for West Private Equity in the past three months, following the £60m secondary buyout of Velo, a provider of car fleet management services to the UK corporate sector, which completed in June. West acquired Velo from European Acquisition Capital, the London-based mid-market investor.


Following the purchase of Velo, the West Private Equity Fund 2000, which closed on E400m in October 2000, is over 60 per cent invested.