Private Equity Steps up for Baxter Biopharma

09.05.2023 - A private equity consortium of Warburg Pincus and Advent International is said to be in advanced talks to acquire medical device maker Baxter International’s biopharma solutions business. The deal could be worth $4 billion or more, news agencies and the newspaper Wall Street Journal reported.

Many other private investors, as well as major players in the biomedical sector such as Thermo Fisher Scientific, have allegedly shown interest in the business, but, according to Reuters, Pincus and Advent submitted the most attractive offer. The two winners may also seek funding from other buyout consortium specialists to support the deal as direct lenders, it said.

The news agency earlier had identified Korea’s Celltrion Healthcare as interested in the biopharma arm and also speculated that regular healthcare private equity buyers such as KKR and the Carlyle Group could have a look.

Baxter's biopharma solutions unit is a CMO supporting drugmakers in the formulation, development and commercialization of drugs typically given by infusion or injection, such as biologics and vaccines.

The parent company first announced the sale plan in January this year, saying it would explore divesting the unit to "enhance focus and improve capital structure," which analysts said was shorthand for shedding non-core businesses to pare down some of its $16.4 billion debt.

Baxter has said it also plans to spin off its renal care and acute therapies units, especially as the dialysis business is pressuring the bottom line.

Medtronic, another medical device maker, is preparing to sell off its patient monitoring and respiratory interventions businesses to shareholders, but is also thought to be drawing interest from private equity.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist