Engineering firm Smiths rejects Private Equity firm Apax bid



Smiths Group

Smiths Group

British engineering company Smiths Group has rejected the private equity group Apax’s all cash offer of £2.45 billion for its medical devices unit.

Although Smiths refused to name the suitor and Apax declined comment, unnamed sources claimed Philip Bowman – CEO of Smiths had turned the offer down late last year citing gross undervaluation of the company.

In a statement Smiths said the offer was termed as “best and final” by the suitor, subject to financial closure and due diligence.

Smiths is the last few of the remaining UK conglomerates and has been hit by break-up speculation talks in the past. The medical unit contributed 31 percent or £858 million of the total £2.8 billion revenues of the company last year. Operating profit from the medical unit constituted around 35 percent or £184 million.

The US is the largest market for the medical services unit, contributing about 50 percent of total sales. The company is also present in Germany, Italy, Mexico and China and employs around 8,400 people worldwide.

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