CapVest kicks off sale of nuclear medicine firm Curium -sources

FRANKFURT/LONDON, Nov 25 (Reuters) - European private equity firm CapVest has tapped potential bidders for its French nuclear medicine provider Curium, sources told Reuters, aiming for a deal that values the business at up to 3 billion euros ($3.31 billion).

CapVest, which specialises in mid-market buyouts, has hired JPMorgan and Rothschild to find a new owner for the Paris-based firm which makes nuclear tracers used in diagnostic imaging.

Its products include radio-active compounds that are injected in small doses into patients in order to produce accurate 3D images to identify disease when scanned with specialised cameras.

The investment firm has sent out confidential information packages to interested parties and wants to receive tentative bids before Christmas, the sources said.

CapVest declined to comment.

Curium said in a statement that it had hired JPMorgan and Rothschild “on the back of numerous credible expressions of interest over recent months.”

The company also said that it would take a number of months to evaluate future opportunities and that management remained focused on producing “critical and life-saving diagnostic and therapeutic solutions.”

Curium, which serves an annual 14 million patients in more than 60 countries, has earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of about 200 million euros, one of the sources said.

It could be valued at between 2.5 billion and 3 billion euros, the sources said, representing a multiple of up to 15 times its core earnings.

British scientific measurement and testing company LGC Group, backed by KKR, was recently valued at about 20 times its core earnings when it was sold to a consortium of Cinven, Astorg and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority earlier this month.

Curium was formed in 2017 through the merger of CapVest-owned IBA Molecular and Mallinckrodt’s nuclear medicine business.

It has about 2,000 employees globally and generates annual sales of roughly 530 million euros, of which 50% is from North America and 35% from Europe.

$1 = 0.9073 euros Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Pamela Barbaglia. Editing by Jane Merriman