Swedish voice prosthesis group Atos Medical prepped for IPO -sources

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Atos Medical’s private equity owner is exploring a stock market listing for the Swedish neck stoma care group at an expected valuation of about 2 billion euros ($1.8-2.4 billion), people close to the matter said.

French private equity firm PAI is in the process of mandating advisors for an initial public offering of the company whose products include voice prosthesis for speaking and laryngectomy tubes for breathing, they said.

While a flotation is the most likely option, PAI may also opt for an outright sale of the company, the people said. The company may fetch a valuation of more than 2 billion euros, some of the people said, while others said a valuation of more than 1.5 billion was a more likely outcome.

PAI declined to comment, while Atos Medical was not immediately available for comment.

The company was founded in 1986 by Swedish entrepreneurs Gert and Jan-Ove Persson and today serves more than 100,000 people with a neck stoma globally.

PAI bought the laryngectomy care products supplier in 2016 for 900 million euros from buyout fund EQT and has since strengthened the company through a string of acquisitions including Griffin Labs and Heimomed Heinze.

Atos Medical, which has annual sales of roughly 200 million euros and an EBITDA margin of 25-30%, competes with Teleflex, Acclarent and Sonova.

Medtech companies like Sonova, Teleflex, Amplifon, Medacta and GN Store Nord trade at roughly 30 times their trailing core earnings.

($1 = 0.8415 euros)

Reporting by Arno Schuetze. Editing by Jane Merriman