Global private equity major KKR and pharma major Novo Nordisk have submitted final bids to acquire surgical sutures firm Healthium Medtech, three people with knowledge of the development said on condition of anonymity. A third, joint bid has come from India-focused PE firm ChrysCapital and Mankind Pharma.

The bids submitted have valued Bengaluru-headquartered Healthium at up to 6,500 crore, the people cited above said. The company is 99% owned by global PE fund Apax Partners.

“The final binding bids came in on Wednesday night,” the first person cited above said. “There were only three final bids from PE and strategic investors.”

“While KKR and Novo Nordisk have put in separate bids, ChrysCapital has bid along with Mankind Pharma,” the second person cited above said.

For KKR, which already acquired Healthium’s UK business last year, it is an extension of its belief in the segment. Novo Nordisk and Mankind Pharma are taking a strategic call on the growth in the segment and a natural adjacent category to the businesses they are already in, the third person cited above said.

Largest surgical sutures firm

Formerly called Sutures India, Healthium is one of the largest surgical sutures makers globally. In 2018, Apax Partners had acquired close to 100% stake in the company from then-shareholders TPG Growth, CX Partners and the founders for $350 million.

Spokespersons for Healthium Medtech, Apax Partners, ChrysCapital, Mankind Pharma, and Novo Nordisk did not respond to emailed queries. A spokesperson for KKR declined to comment.

Founded in 1992, Healthium has four key product areas—wound closure, arthroscopy, wound care, and infection prevention portfolio. It is one of the largest manufacturers of surgical needles and sutures in the global market. The company and its subsidiaries have seven manufacturing facilities with three R&D centres.

The company has steadily introduced higher value-added products over the past few years, from antimicrobial gloves and barbed sutures to meniscus guns and ligation clips.

As per a 31 January 2024 credit ratings release by ICRA, Healthium has a diversified presence across products and geographies with exports to more than 90 countries. The company has generated revenue of around 394 crore, with operating margin of 27.6% in H1 FY2024. ICRA expects the company to register healthy revenue growth in the full fiscal FY2024, while maintaining its margins.

As per the ICRA report, in FY2023, the company divested its UK business, the Clini group specialising in the urology segment, to KKR.

On a consolidated basis (excluding the discontinued UK business), Healthium witnessed revenue growth of 14.3% to 728.5 crore in FY2023 from 637.1 crore in FY2022, supported by healthy demand from the key end-user industry segments for wound closure, both in the domestic and export markets.

“Revenue growth was majorly supported by volume growth on the back of strong distribution network in the domestic markets, new product launches and established relationships with existing clients,” the report said.