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Gilde in €425m life science deal

Gilde Buy Out Partners is buying Groupe Novasep for €425 million, after materials business Rockwood Holding grew the company after a merger in 2004.

Gilde Buy Out Partners, a Netherlands-based mid-market private equity investor, is buying French life science technology company Groupe Novasep from specialty materials business Rockwood Holding for €425 million ($560 million).

Following the deal, Groupe Novasep will continue to operate through two divisions.  Novasep Synthesis is a biochemical synthesis company while Novasep Process specializes in purification engineering.

Roger Marc Nicoud chief executive officer of Novasep said: “Rockwood allowed Novasep to grow dramatically in the last two years, and acted as a very responsible and committed partner. When we merged Novasep and Dynamic Synthesis in 2004, our common vision was for our cooperation with Rockwood to be limited in time. Today, it is time for Novasep to go back to more independence, and to continue on its successful growth path.”

With its headquarters in France, Groupe Novasep operates mainly in Europe, with subsidiaries in the United States, China and Japan.

New York-based White and Case gave legal advice to Gilde while financial services came from French corporate finance company Aforge.

Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw gave legal advice to Novasep while Cabinet Gegout & Gutton provided financial advice.

Novasep is the fourth investment completed in 2006 by Gilde Buy Out Fund III, a €600 million vehicle, as well as the fourth investment made by Gilde in France. The firm has funds under management of more than €1.5 billion.

Last week Gilde completed two deals in a day.  The firm paid €60 million for Uniq Belgium, a producer and marketer of private label and branded spreadable salads. 

Gilde also sold its stake in CABB, a German speciality chemicals company, to Axa Private Equity, the captive arm of the French insurer.  No financial detail was disclosed.