By Liz White, ERJ staff
London-SSL International plc has finally sold its Regent medical glove and Hibi antiseptic business, for some Â£173 million. A management-buy-out team, funded through Apax Partners, will run the glove and infection control operation, which will be called Regent Medical.
The deal, which is expected to be finalised by 26 June, awaits approval by SSL shareholders, regulatory authorities in Malaysia and competition authorities in the US.
SSL, which is to focus in future on its consumer products-Durex condoms and the Scholl footcare range-has been trying to sell the healthcare business since the end of 2003. But negotiations with its preferred bidder fell through in April 2004, and talks with other bidders restarted, SSL said.
The buyers will pay Â£163 million in cash or equivalents and assume some Â£10 million of debt.
SSL said in a statement that it will use the proceeds to reduce group borrowings.
Regent's sales in the year to 31 March 2004 were about Â£120 million, with operating profit of Â£28 million.
The deal includes Regent's surgical glove manufacturing and packing facilities in Malaysia. About 2081 employees will transfer to Regent Medical, 1900 of whom are based in Malaysia.