Sebia sale attracts much interest

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The French medical diagnostics company Sebia is understood to have been put up for sale by its private equity owners Cinven, and is thought to have attracted much preliminary interest. Stockholm-based Nordic Capital is reported to have made an indicative bid already, and the American private equity house Carlyle is also believed to be giving active consideration to a bid.

Paris-based Sebia is a world leader in the use of electrophoresis for medical diagnosis. This has particular relevance for the diagnosis of blood cancers such as multiple myeloma, and the company also has a respected position in areas such as diagnosis of diabetes and alcohol abuse. Sebia reported revenues of €147m in 2012, the last year for which full annual accounts are available, and sales are thought to be continuing to grow at around 10% per annum.

Cinven bought the business for €800m (US$1.1bn) from Montagu Private Equity and is said to be confident of receiving at least €1bn for it now. Nordic Capital already has an impressive portfolio of medical equipment business, notably the stoma and wound management company ConvaTec, which it is believed to be keen to combine with Sebia. However, it is thought that it will face much competition from trade buyers as well as private equity, with bankers openly lamenting the paucity of such attractive deals.

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