FRANKFURT Private equity group BC Partners BCPRT.UL has agreed to buy German vitamins and generic prescription drugs maker Aenova from Bridgepoint BRDG.UL, the investors said in a joint statement on Monday.
A price tag was not disclosed, but a source close to the transaction said BC Partners paid roughly 500 million euros ($617 million), of which half is being covered by equity.
Aenova is another name on a growing list of medium-sized German businesses going up for sale as private equity groups trawl their portfolios looking for strong disposal candidates.
As it often proves hard to find outside buyers, private equity investors in many cases flip assets between rivals in deals known as secondaries.
In June, Swedish private equity group EQT agreed to buy German bandage BSN medical from investor Montagu and last month British buyout group Charterhouse signed a deal to acquire German industrial safety tools producer Bartec from rival investor Capvis.
IK Investment is looking for a buyer for factory equipment maker Schenck Process SYDKER.UL with investors Bain Capital, Rhone Capital and Pamplona remaining in the race.
Separately, investor Madison Capital is selling German machinery group KraussMaffei, BC Partners is looking to divest power transformer group SGB Starkstrom and investor Triton has put German logistics company Dematic on the block.
Demand for good businesses and a recovery in debt markets is stoking sellers' hopes that they can achieve good prices.
Aenova, which employs about 1,600 people and has annual sales of 250 million euros, is targeting earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of about 53 million euros in 2012.
Aenova was formed by Bridgepoint through the merger of Swiss Caps, a maker of soft capsule vitamins, supplements and pharma products, with Dragenopharm, a German contract manufacturer for the prescription drugs market. ($1 = 0.8104 euros)
(Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Philipp Halstrick; Editing by Stephen Powell)