Fund: Fund V
Investment theme: Buy-and-build and growth acceleration
Investment date: April 2005
Exit date: September 2011
Atos Medical is a Swedish-based
medical devices business, engaged in the research, design,
manufacture and marketing of laryngology, tracheostomy and other
ear, nose and throat ("ENT") related products. The company's key
products are voice prostheses and heat and moisture exchangers.
These products help patients regain speech and respiratory
functions following surgical removal of the voice box
(laryngectomy), often the result of treatment for larynx
Atos Medical was identified by
Nordic Capital as an attractive investment opportunity during its
days as a subsidiary of listed Swedish life science conglomerate
Perbio Science. After Perbio was acquired by the listed American
biotechnology company Fisher Scientific International, Nordic
Capital continued to monitor Atos as it was evidently not related
to the core business of Fisher. Nordic Capital was finally granted
an exclusive opportunity to acquire Atos at the end of
With Atos Medical, Nordic Capital would acquire a
successful company in an attractive medical technology segment
where Nordic Capital's experience and insight could significantly
drive value. Atos Medical was a company with a focused product
portfolio in a small yet highly attractive niche market.
The core laryngology business was likely to remain an
attractive growth engine for the company. Within the investment
horizon, growth for both key products (voice prostheses and heat
and moisture exchangers) was to be derived primarily from further
penetration of existing markets (Germany, US and UK representing
50% of total expected growth).
During Nordic Capital's ownership,
Atos Medical made a shift in strategy from being a 'broad supplier
of products to the ENT field, with a strong laryngology franchise'
to being a 'focused supplier of products for laryngology and
long-term tracheotomy patients, with a two-pronged strategy for
third party products'. It made its first expansion into
tracheostomy through a German acquisition in 2007, and subsequently
invested further into that area in order to build second leg to an
already successful laryngology franchise.
Also, it closed four smaller add-on
acquisitions (and declined several sub-optimal
Executing on a selective M&A
strategy has strengthened the company by adding capabilities within
home care in Germany and France, and positioned the company for
forward integration in Poland, Italy and Japan.
The company stepped up efforts to
establish standards of care in existing markets and reimbursement
for laryngology products in existing as well as new markets, (e.g.
Poland and Japan) providing for future growth
The company was sold to the Swedish
private equity company EQT through an auction process which was
initiated during Q2 2011. The company's attractive financial
characteristics and proven resilience during the global recession
attracted strong interest from multiple financial
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