Agfa Gevaert auction thins as price rises

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A small shortlist remains for the medical software division of the Belgian conglomerate Agfa Gevaert amid suggestions that the price has escalated in the face of great interest.

Informal sources claim that the German eHealth leader Compugroup and the Italian medical software company Dedalus are vying for the business in the final round of the auction being overseen by JP Morgan. Compugroup made an approach to Agfa Gevaert for the division in 2016 but no deal was forthcoming.

There is a suggestion that at least one private equity group may also still be involved although it thought that most of the financial investors which expressed initial interest have now withdrawn.  Speculation a few weeks ago specifically named Advent, KKR and Permira as possible suitors.

Initial talk also mentioned a likely price of €750m for the unit, which generated EBITDA of around €50m last year and is still growing at around 35% per annum. However, it is now said that this estimate turned out to be too low and only offers in excess of €800m were allowed through to the final stage.

Noon of the parties has made any comment.

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