In brief top news

Nordic-focused private equity house EQT has notched up its fourth exit in two months with the sales of International Health Insurance Danmark (IHI) to trade buyer Bupa. The firm bought IHI in January 2001 from Sygeforsikringen danmark. Since then, the company has grown over 10% per annum on a fixed current currency basis and almost doubled its profit after tax. Bjorn Hoi Jensen, a partner at EQT Partners, said the international private medical insurance sector was a high growth sector that would remain strong, driven by increasing health consciousness and the growth in the number of expatriates. Morgan Stanley acted as financial adviser to EQT and ABN AMRO advised Bupa.

  • Morgan Stanley completed a rapid placing of 5% of healthcare software company iSoft in a co-ordinated sale for a number of shareholders. The sale comprised a total of 11.5m shares placed at 425p to raise £48.875m for the sellers. The placement was launched on an accelerated bookbuild basis with a price range of 420p–433p, against the 433p close. The deal was completed quickly, with pricing set at 425p, a 1.85% discount to the close. Patrick Cryne, non-executive chairman, sold 3.5m shares alongside commercial director Steve Graham, who sold 2m shares. The deal also included participation by venture capital firm General Atlantic, which had told Morgan Stanley of its desire to reduce its position. General Atlantic sold 6m shares, leaving it with a 5.1% holding. All three sellers are locked up for six months to October 31.
  • Danaher Corporation bought German-based Leica Microsystems from LM Investments, a Permira-backed Luxembourg holding company. The purchase price represents an enterprise value of approximately US$550m. Danaher is a manufacturer of professional instrumentation, industrial technologies and tools and components, with revenues of approximately US$660m in 2004. Leica Microsystems is represented in more than 100 countries with 10 manufacturing facilities located in Europe, China and Singapore, sales and service organisations in more than 25 countries and an international dealer network.
  • The Industri Kapital 2004 fund will acquire 75% of Norwegian home textile retailer Kid Interior in a deal that values the company at about €200m. Family owners will retain a 25% holding. Kid Interior is Norway’s leading home textile retailer in a market worth about €500m a year. With a turnover of €90m, Kid Interior has demonstrated an annual average growth of 27% since 1998. During the same period, the number of wholly owned stores has grown from 25 to 90, with further store openings planned for 2005. “There is a positive consumer trend for interior decoration and home furnishings and we believe there will be continued growth in this segment during the coming years,” said Trygve Grindheim, a partner at Industri Kapital.