CapVest hires advisers to weigh options for Curium

CapVest Partners is evaluating strategic alternatives for Curium Pharma, a French nuclear medicine company, according to four people familiar with the matter.

A process is not formally underway; however, J.P. Morgan Securities and Rothschild have been engaged to advise the sellers on an anticipated process, two of the people said.

“On the back of numerous credible expressions of interest over recent months, the Board of Curium has jointly appointed JP Morgan and Rothschild to advise them on future potential opportunities considering Curium’s strong financial performance and compelling growth potential,” Curium confirmed in a statement to Buyouts.

“This process is likely to take a number of months. … During this time Curium’s leadership team will continue to develop the Company in line with its strategy and to deliver critical and life-saving diagnostic and therapeutic solutions to millions of patients world-wide.”

A process is likely to formally kick off around January 2020, two of the people said. All options are on the table, one of the people said, cautioning that the process may not result in a sale of the business.

Should a transaction be pursued, sources deemed a sale to a sponsor as the most likely scenario. There exists no obvious strategic buyer given the nature of the niche business and Curium is likely not large enough to field the attention of large pharma, one of the people said.

Curium is projecting 2019 Ebitda of around 190 million euros ($210 million), two of the people said. The company generated revenue of 549 million Euros in 2018, according to Moody’s.

Curium was created in 2017, when Capvest’s IBA Molecular acquired the nuclear imaging business of Mallinckrodt. The deal was valued at $690 million including upfront and contingent conditions.

Curium, with global headquarters in London, Paris and North America headquarters in Saint Louis, Missouri, is led by CEO Renaud Dehareng.

Curium’s radiopharmaceutical products help create 3D images of functional processes in the human body, which are then used to diagnose various diseases including those involving the brain, heart or cancers. The company provides diagnostics to 14 million patients worldwide each year, serving 6,000 private and public hospitals in more than 70 countries, CapVest states on its website.

CapVest, a London private equity firm, also owns NextPharma, a pan-European pharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing organization.

CapVest directed all queries to Curium, while JPMorgan and Rothschild declined to comment.

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