Private equity groups close to deal to buy Medline for $34 billion

A consortium of private equity groups, including Black stone And Carlisle, which is about to acquire medical supplies group Medline for about $34 billion, including debt, in what would be the largest purchase of the year, people familiar with the matter said.

The group of financial investors is expected to announce a deal soon, a person familiar with the matter said.

The deal will be the largest purchase involving a club of private equity investors since the 2007 financial crisis. It will rank as one of the largest private equity deals ever, behind the $44 billion takeover of US energy group TXU Corporation in 2007.

Blackstone, which also partnered with Hellman & Friedman in the deal, beat out other consortia of buyout groups, including one that includes Bain Capital and CVC and one led by Brookfield.

Medline, founded in 1966 by Jim and John Mills, is one of the largest manufacturers of medical supplies. Charles Mills now runs the family-owned business.

In 2018, Blackstone agreed to its biggest deal since the financial crisis by raising $17.3 billion to acquire a controlling stake in Thomson Reuters’ financial terminals and data business. The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Singapore’s state fund GIC helped fund the deal.

Club deals were common in the years leading up to the financial crisis as they allowed private equity groups To be exposed to more transactions. They came to an abrupt end after the crisis as credit dried up but have recently been gaining momentum.

The highly anticipated deal was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

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