STOCKHOLM Jan 22 Private equity firm Bridgepoint is to hire JP Morgan to review options for Diaverum, a Swedish kidney dialysis firm that, sources said, could fetch more than 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion).
JP Morgan advised U.S. healthcare group Baxter on its $4 billion acquisition in December of Swedish firm Gambro, which once owned Diaverum.
Bridgepoint partner James Murray would not say on Tuesday whether the options that will be looked at by JP Morgan would include a sale of Diaverum which had 2011 sales of 398 million euros.
Diaverum is more likely to attract an industrial buyer than a private equity firm, said M&A advisers who declined to be identified because they were not authorised to speak publicly.
British-based Bridgepoint bought Diaverum in 2007 and has since expanded the business with more than 30 acquisitions. Diaverum operates about 250 clinics with more than 20,000 patients in 17 countries, up from 155 clinics in 2007.
"It is hard to picture the next journey for a private equity owner," one M&A adviser said.
Healthcare companies that could consider acquiring Diaverum include German group Fresenius - the world's biggest dialysis service provider, and U.S. groups Davita Healthcare Partners and Baxter, the advisers said.
Davita, the biggest operator of dialysis clinics in the United States, has an EBITDA margin around 20 percent. If Diaverum was as profitable, a multiple of 13 on EBITDA earnings would yield a price tag of just above 1 billion euros.
Diaverum does not publish profit figures.