TPG Capital to buy iNova for $2b-plus; PEP to co-invest

iNova owns a portfolio of medicine and healthcare brands, including Difflam and Demazin, both used for cold and flu relief. Its other products include skincare label Dermaveen and weight management brand Duromine.

TPG sent its bid to owner The Carlyle Group and Pacific Equity Partners on Friday, before being anointed as the preferred buyer. It’s expected to fund its acquisition with debt from HPS, which is already a lender to the PEP/Carlyle owned iNova.

Thickins has Mission Control support

It’s a timely deal for TPG, coming as it is raising $10 billion for a new Asia buyout fund and has head office support for new investments in Australia.

The private equity firm’s local spearhead, Joel Thickins, is understood to be the United States as part of the fundraising. Thickins ran the deal alongside TPG managing director Vinnie Wong.

iNova is expected to go into the new fund, and sit alongside the firm’s other Australian team investments, which include clinical research company Novotech, pets and vets owner Greencross and beverages play Made Group. It typically invests in the consumer, healthcare and business services sectors.

PEP’s expected to retain a non-controlling interest as part of the buyout.

PEP and Carlyle bought iNova in 2017 from North America’s Valeant; it was previously owned by Australian PE firm Archer Capital.

Based in Singapore, iNova, which has a big Australian presence, was pitched to potential buyers with about $150 million in annual earnings. It was expected to fetch a mid-teens multiple.

Jefferies and Credit Suisse ran an accelerated two-part auction over the past two months, seeking to identify a new owner. The business attracted interest from a bunch of big private equity firms, looking to expand iNova’s presence in regional markets.

The auction came to a head on Friday, when binding bids were due.

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