Smiths Invites Final Bids for $3 Billion Medical Unit


(Bloomberg) -- Smiths Group Plc has asked for final bids this week for its medical-equipment business, which could fetch about $3 billion, people familiar with the matter said.

Private equity firms Cinven, Platinum Equity and GTCR are among parties considering making binding offers for the unit, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the matter is private. U.S.-listed rival ICU Medical Inc., which was pursuing the business last year, is also in the race, the people said.

Shares of Smiths Group rose as much as 2.4% in Tuesday morning trading. They were up 1.8% at 9:21 a.m. in London, giving the company a market value of 6.9 billion pounds ($8.9 billion).

Smiths Group will next review the proposals to decide whether to sell the business or pursue a spinoff, the people said. No final decisions have been made, and the deliberations may not result in a deal, the people said.

Representatives for Smiths Group, Cinven and GTCR declined to comment. Representatives for ICU and Platinum didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Smiths Group’s medical unit makes devices such as patient monitors and drug-delivery systems that are used in ambulances, hospitals and care homes. The U.K. industrial conglomerate has been planning to offload the business to focus more on its core operations, which span industrial, security and defense equipment.

A spinoff or outright sale of Smiths Group’s medical-equipment business would be positive for the shares, Citigroup Inc. analysts wrote in a research note. The bank has a “buy” rating on the company with a target price of 20 pounds.

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