EQT in takeover talks with UK vet pharma company

EQT is in talks to acquire a UK veterinary pharmaceuticals company in the latest sign of corporate takeover activity on London’s listed market.

Dechra Pharmaceuticals confirmed that it has entered into discussions with the Swedish private equity giant about a possible all-cash offer. 

The company’s share price has soared 35% today.

The bid would value Dechra, which is listed on the FTSE 250, at roughly £4.6bn.

Dechra’s share price hit a record high in August 2021, riding a new wave of demand from pet owners in the wake of the pandemic.

However, the company’s share price since halved from its peak almost two years ago.

Dechra said it had confirmed to EQT that it would be prepared to recommend the possible cash offer to its shareholders should the PE firm announce a firm intention to make an offer.

Founded in 1989 as the National Veterinary Services (NVS), a venture capital funded business, Cheshire-based Dechra floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2000.

Today the business employs more than 2,000 people, operates seven manufacturing sites and distributes its services to over 60 countries.

The move signals the latest in a flurry of take-private talks to emerge in the UK during recent weeks, with PE firms eyeing up a range of London-listed companies.

On the same day as Dechra confirmed its talks with EQT, payments provider Network International said that it had received a preliminary and conditional proposal from a consortium of CVC Capital Partners and Francisco Partners Funds.

Earlier this month, US buyout giant Blackstone made a £700m takeover offer for London-listed commercial property company Industrials Reit.

In March, exhibition firm Hyve Group also agreed to a £320m takeover from Providence Equity Partners.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Sebastian McCarthy


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