J&J Revives Sale Plan for Breast Implant Unit Mentor

Johnson & Johnson is reviving plans for a sale of its breast implant unit, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The company is working with an adviser on a sales process for its Mentor Worldwide unit, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. The business is expected to draw interest from private equity firms, according to one of the people.

New Brunswick, New Jersey-based J&J had started a sales process for Mentor last year but plans were shelved as market turmoil in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic crimped dealmaking. The business is on track to generate $140 million a year in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, one of the people said.

A J&J spokesperson declined to comment.

Pandemic lockdowns brought cosmetic and other elective medical procedures to a standstill. A few months later, patients stuck at home and spending less on travel and entertainment were calling medical offices as they re-opened.

J&J acquired Mentor in December 2008 for about $1.1 billion after it became the first device maker to win approval to reintroduce silicone implants. California-based Mentor is part of J&J’s medical devices unit.

Mentor has fended off several lawsuits claiming its breast implants ruptured or caused health problems. In February, a U.S. appeals court ruled a group of plaintiffs failed to show wrongdoing by the company under federal law. That followed a similar decision in January by another federal appeals court.

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