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Novo Nordisk Joins Bidding Race to Buy Healthium Medtech

Written by : Nikita Saha

March 22, 2024

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With rival bidders valuing Healthium in the range of INR 6,500 to 7,000 Cr, the due diligence process is currently underway.

Novo Holdings, the controlling shareholder of Danish pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk, has joined the race to bid for Healthium Medtech, India's largest surgical sutures manufacturer.

This move positions Novo Holdings as the latest contender in a fiercely contested bidding process for Healthium, which is predominantly owned by Apax Partners, with a stake of 99.8%.

Joining a roster of prominent investment firms such as KKR, Hillhouse, EQT, Blackstone, and TA Associates, Novo Holdings' participation adds another layer of intensity to the bidding landscape.

Notably, the Apax Partners-promoted Healthium Medtech is also the largest manufacturer of surgical needles globally by volume, further fueling the competitive dynamics of the acquisition process.

As the bidding rounds progress, reports indicate that additional contenders like Bain Capital and Advent International are also contending, amplifying the stakes in what is shaping up to be a high-stakes deal in the medical device sector.

With rival bidders valuing Healthium in the range of INR 6,500 to 7,000 Cr, the due diligence process is currently underway.

Investment Pipeline

In the investment pipeline, recent developments have seen the withdrawal of a consortium comprising Canada's Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board, owners of Sahyadri Hospitals, and ChrysCapital from the bidding process.

This move adds a new dimension to the landscape, as ChrysCapital had previously shown interest in the deal.

Interestingly, Apax Partners, the majority shareholder of Healthium Medtech, initially explored the possibility of a public listing for the asset but eventually pivoted towards a sale process, indicating shifting market dynamics.

In addition to the notable contenders such as EQT, KKR, Bain Capital, and Advent International, General Atlantic has emerged as another prospective player eyeing the acquisition.

Meanwhile, the domestic medical devices sector sees activity from players like Sahajanand Medical Technologies, supported by Morgan Stanley PE, and Lotus Surgicals, backed by Murugappa Group and Premji Invest.

These entities contribute to the vibrant landscape of potential stakeholders vying for strategic opportunities in the healthcare industry.

Novo Holdings, a Danish investment firm, oversees the holdings of the Novo Nordisk Foundation, recognized as the world’s largest philanthropic entity.

Its substantial influence and financial clout derive from its significant ownership stake, comprising 28% of shares and commanding 77% of voting rights in Novo Nordisk.

Additionally, it serves as the controlling shareholder of Novo Enzymes, a prominent industrial enzymes manufacturer.

Novo Holdings has witnessed a significant expansion in its assets under management, which surpassed $163 billion in the previous calendar year.

This growth is attributed to its diversified investment portfolio encompassing approximately 170 companies, with a predominant focus on life sciences and capital investments across various sectors including equities, bonds, real estate, and infrastructure, alongside its substantial holdings in the two Novo entities.

In August last year, Healthium Medtech introduced a range of TRUMAS sutures meticulously designed to address challenges faced during suturing in minimal access surgeries (MAS).

TRUMAS offers a diverse array of needle and suture combinations, catering comprehensively to the needs of surgeons.

These innovations include anti-reflective needles to alleviate eye fatigue, optimally curved needles for ease of introduction and maneuverability, square body needles for enhanced grip, and well-sized, short-length barb sutures.


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