Apax to IPO Molnlycke for €2.5bn

Apax has confirmed that it is working with Deutsche Bank to IPO the Swedish healthcare business Molnlycke. The IPO is likely to take place in the first quarter of 2007 and hopes to raise in the region of €2.5bn.

This is a fast turnaround for Apax who acquired the Gothenburg surgical care and wound care products business from Nordic Capital in April 2005.

Apax has so far had a fruitful relationship with Nordic Capital. Last week it was announced that another Swedish healthcare business Capio had recommended a US$2.3bn buy-out offer from Opica, a company jointly owned by Apax and Nordic Capital.

The potential deal comes after a hostile approach from Apax and Nordic. Traditionally investors have demanded clauses which forbade private equity houses from making these hostile bids, the fact that Optica did this is a sign again of the growing strength of private equity firms in the market.

Apax has also been busy with Permira, last week the consortium closed the acquisition of Sisal, the Italian gaming and betting operator. The acquisition was valued at €900m (US$1.13bn). They will seek to revive Sisal’s performance after a slow-down of its flagship horse-racing lottery Totip. Sisal, which has been operating for over fifty years, also manages SuperEnalotto, Tris, Totocalcio, Totogol, Big Match and Big Race.

The acquisition was conducted by Giochi Holding, a company controlled by Permira and Apax Partners. It acquired Area Giochi Holding, a company that controls 97% of the share capital of Sisal. The Clessidra fund remains in the new capital structure with a significant quota.

Apax Partners and Permira’s M&A advisers were Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley, supported by ABN Amro and Banca Intesa. Bonelli. Erede and Pappalardo e Chiomenti acted as legal advisers. Studio Maisto & Associati and Studio Di Tanno operated as tax consultants for the transaction and Global Leisure Partners acted as strategic advisor.

Acquisition financing was provided by ABN Amro, Banca Intesa, Bayerische Hypo-und Vereinsbank, Calyon, Lehman Brothers, Mizuho and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Clessidra was advised on M&A by Merrill Lynch and Mediobanca and by Studio Pavia e Ansaldo for the legal aspects.