Covid-19 Antibody Maker HyTest Said to Mull $400 Million Sale

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Nordic private equity firm Summa Equity AB is exploring a sale of Finland’s HyTest Ltd., a manufacturer of antibodies and antigens used in tests for illnesses including Covid-19, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Summa is working with advisers on the potential divestment and has reached out to prospective suitors, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. HyTest could fetch as much as $400 million in a sale, the people said, citing strong investor interest in testing due to the pandemic.

Deliberations are at an early stage and Summa could decide to keep the business, according to the people. A representative for Summa Equity did not respond to requests for comment.

Founded in 1994, HyTest develops and produces antibodies and antigens for the in vitro diagnostics industry. Summa acquired a majority stake in HyTest in 2018, according to the buyout firm’s website. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Finnish company’s products cover 20 disease groups, including cardiovascular and infectious diseases, and are sold primarily in China, Europe and America, the website said. In 2019, HyTest provided antibodies and antigens for IVD tests run on over 300 million patients globally, and earned 299 million kroner ($34.7 million) in revenue.

HyTest produces antibodies to help detect the coronavirus, and expects that its products will also be able to recognize the U.K. and South African variants, according to the company’s website.

The global IVD market was valued at $83.4 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 4.5% from 2021 to 2027, according to a report published by market research firm Grand View Research. The firm attributed the rise to increased testing for the coronavirus.

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