Wound care firm KCI agrees to be bought for $6.3 billion

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One of the world's largest wound care companies is about to gain a new owner. At press time, Kinetic Concepts Inc. agreed to be acquired by a consortium put together by Apax Partners, a private equity interest group.

The buyers will put up $4.98 billion in cash, and assume $1.3 billion in additional debt, which brings the total acquisition cost to nearly $6.3 billion. KCI stockholders will receive $68.50 per share.

KCI's portfolio includes negative-pressure wound-therapy products, including its VAC Therapy System, which is used to treat chronic and large wounds. The unit accounted for about 70% of the company's $2 billion in revenue last year. KCI controls more than 80% of the worldwide market for negative pressure wound therapy. Device maker Smith & Nephew is its largest competitor in this area.

Analysts noted that KCI was an attractive target for private equity because it offers a stable cash flow but has had trouble growing. Kinetic faces increased competition in its key business — products that use negative pressure technology, or a vacuum, to promote wound healing. The company also manufactures technology for tissue regeneration.

KCI's 10-member board unanimously approved the   deal, which is expected to close before the end of the year. The purchase still required shareholder and regulatory approval as of press time. KCI had a 40-day period to solicit alternative offers, according to a company statement.

KCI previously was taken private in 1997 by company founder Dr. James Leininger and two investment firms in a deal valued at $850 million. KCI subsequently went public again in 2004.