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Rexam to sell healthcare group to private equity firm

By: Hamish Champ
PRW

February 3, 2014

Rexam plc, the British-headquartered packaging giant, has announced the proposed sale of the pharmaceutical devices and prescription retail packaging operations of its healthcare division to a private equity firm for around $805 million.

The group said the deal, signed with Montagu Private Equity, was expected to be completed by around the middle of this year. It will be the second time Montagu has owned elements of the unit.

Montagu owned Risdon Pharma, which it sold to Rexam in 2003.

Rexam, which wants to focus on its cans business, had been looking for a buyer for its healthcare arm for some time, with a number of potential buyers coming into – and then out of – the frame last year.

The two operations being sold to Montagu, which owns a range of businesses including Biffa and Cory Environmental and previously owned packaging outfit Linpac, had sales of some 250 million pounds ($408 million) in 2012 and underlying profits of 43 million pounds ($70.2 million) before central overheads.

Montagu has also had ownership in medical and healthcare companies BSN Medical, Euromedic International and Sebia Inc.

Rexam added that it was "in discussions" regarding the sale of the remaining third of its healthcare operation, its closures and containers operation.

Rexam shareholders will get around 450 m by way of redeemable shares and a share consolidation, the group said.

Graham Chipchase, Rexam's chief executive, said the sale of the healthcare business was part of the group's long term strategy to maximise shareholder value.

"The divisions represent the majority of the value of our healthcare business. Following the sale of healthcare, we will be a focused beverage cans business with a strong financial position.

"Our strategy is to balance growth and returns and we will continue to pursue selective investment opportunities in beverage cans in higher growth markets."

Rexam's Healthcare Devices, headquartered in La Verpillière, France, is a leading European manufacturer of plastic drug administration systems for the pharmaceutical industry. It designs, produces and sells a broad range of complex medical devices including inhalers, insulin pens and pumps. Its products are critical to patients and subject to stringent quality requirements.

During the last decade, Montagu officials noted in a news release, Healthcare Devices has developed rapidly, on the back of acquisitions, continued focus on R&D, innovation and manufacturing excellence.

Healthcare Devices operates four state of the art manufacturing plants in the U.S. and Europe and generates annual sales of approximately $265 million.

Based in Berlin, Ohio, Prescription Retail provides plastic vials and closures used by pharmacies in the US to deliver the exact count of pills to patients. It manufactures more than 1.5 billion vials annually and owns markets leading products such as "1-Clic" and "Screw-Loc."

Marc Haemel, current Head of Rexam Healthcare, commented:

"We are very happy to be partnering with the Montagu team. Their previous experience as owners of Risdon Pharma demonstrates the quality of their support as the company looks to sustain its growth through further investments in new technologies and state of the art production."

Completion of the transaction is subject to consultation with the French Works Councils and satisfactory clearance from competition authorities.