Private equity group closes deal to buy Medline for more than $30 billion

Private equity group closes deal to buy Medline for more than $30 billion

A consortium of private equity firms is closing a deal to buy medical supplies company Medline Industries Inc. for more than $ 30 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, in what would be one of the most major leveraged acquisitions worldwide. All the time.

The group, which includes Blackstone Group Inc., Carlyle Group Inc. and Hellman & Friedman, is in advanced talks with Medline, and a deal could be finalized in the coming days, said the people, who asked not to be identified. during discussions. confidential information. GIC Pte of Singapore will also invest under the partnership, one of the people said.

The transaction would be valued at around $ 34 billion, including debt, one of the people said.

Based in Northfield, Ill., Medline is the United States’ largest private manufacturer and distributor of medical supplies such as medical gloves, gowns, and examination tables for hospitals and physician offices. The company is run by the billionaire Mills family: CEO Charlie Mills, his cousin Andy Mills, who is president, and COO Jim Abrams, who is Charlie’s brother-in-law.

Charlie and Andy took over the reins in 1997 from their respective parents, Jim and Jon Mills. These brothers founded the company in 1966, inspired by their grandfather, who helped sew gowns for surgeons in a Chicago hospital before World War I.

The Mills family will retain part of the business and remain the largest individual shareholder, one of the people said, adding that there would be no change in Medline’s management team.

Officials at Medline, Blackstone and GIC did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the report, while Carlyle and H&F declined to comment. The Wall Street Journal previously reported on the advanced talks.

The team beat Canadian investment giant Brookfield Asset Management Inc. which was bidding alone, the sources said.

At least eight acquisition companies had prepared deals for the company over the past month, with some drawn to the prospect of having the first opportunity to cut costs and maximize profits in a massive business on Medline that didn’t. has never been affected by another acquisition company. .

Blackstone, Carlyle and H&F were drawn to Medline because of the opportunity to work with the company to help it accelerate its international expansion, make new infrastructure investments, strengthen its supply chain and broaden its product offering, according to a person informed of its thinking. . .

As of June 1, the bidding group had been reduced to three parties: the Blackstone consortium, Brookfield bidding alone, and a separate consortium comprising Bain Capital, Advent International and CVC Capital Partners.

The Bain consortium decided not to submit final offers after the deadline was sharply accelerated by several weeks, some people said.

Blackstone and H&F have partnered to buy large assets in the past, including an offer to privatize Scout24 from Germany.

Medline generated $ 17.5 billion in revenue in 2020, a representative previously said.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and BDT & Co. advised Medline on the transaction, one of the people said, while Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co, Barclays Plc, Morgan Stanley and Centerview Partners have advised companies of private equity.

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