Navis Capital Partners to exit B Medical Systems, strikes two new investments

Photo from B Medical Systems' website.

Southeast Asian private equity firm Navis Capital Partners will be selling its entire stake in Luxembourg-based medical cold chain solutions provider B Medical Systems (B Med) to Nasdaq-listed life sciences firm Azenta Inc, Navis said in a statement.

Azenta said in a separate announcement that it will pay 410 million euros (around $418 million at current rates) at the closing of the transaction in October 2022, while another cash consideration of up to 50 million euro may be paid upon achievement of certain future performance milestones.

Malaysia-based Navis had acquired a non-core subsidiary of Dometic Medical System in 2015 and rebranded it as B Medical Systems. Since then, over 50 million euros have been invested in R&D, establishing low-cost manufacturing facilities in India and Indonesia, and expanding and automating manufacturing capabilities in Luxembourg, the private equity firm said.

With a global presence in over 150 countries, B Med is the world’s single largest vaccine cold chain provider, having provided storage and transportation of temperature-sensitive vaccines to a significant part of the global population, particularly in emerging economies in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

The company generated approximately 109 million euros in revenue over the past twelve months ending June 30, 2022, according to the Azenta announcement.

“B Med is an interesting case study illustrating the successful execution of a product development strategy focused solely on providing medical equipment and data that helps organisations around the world to save millions of lives in challenging and low-resource settings and to do so at the lowest total cost of ownership of such equipment in the industry,” said Nicholas Bloy, managing partner at Navis.

Navis has completed over 90 control transactions, of which over 60 have been exited. Almost all of these exits have been to trade buyers.

Earlier divestments include Hong Kong-based apparel material provider Texon and Singapore-based battery lifecycle services firm TES-Envirocorp Pte Ltd.

New investments

In terms of new investments, Navis in July took a majority stake in the operator of Thailand’s spine and nerve specialty hospital S-Spine and Nerve Hospital.

S-Spine, founded in 2017 by Thai neurosurgeon Dittapong Boonampol, focuses on the root cause of symptoms and use advanced medical techniques and minimally invasive surgery techniques to provide faster recovery, lower-risk, and effective treatment to patients.

Navis said its investment will help with the hospital’s development of related musculoskeletal services, capacity expansion, and exploration of mergers & acquisitions opportunities.

Also in July, Navis completed an investment in Dan-D Foods Group, a Canada-based producer of healthy nut snacks with its core sourcing and processing facilities located in Vietnam.

The global snack industry is a $605 billion market with healthy snacks accounting for $81 billion. It is expected to reach $108 billion in sales by 2027, supported by increasing consumption of healthy food products, according to Navis.

China, one of Dan-D Foods’s core markets, is the largest and fastest growing nut snack market in the world with a market size of $13 billion, growing at 12% per annum. Vietnam is the world’s fourth largest cashew grower and the largest exporter of cashew kernels accounting for 60-65% of global exports.

Navis will assist Dan-D Foods in accelerating growth through new production capacity expansion, further penetration into existing export markets such as China, Canada, the US and Japan, as well as new markets and customer acquisition.

Dan-D Foods has over $200 million in revenue, having grown at a 20% CAGR for the past six years, according to its founder Dan On Khuong. The company currently has six manufacturing facilities, the majority of which are located in Vietnam, and sales offices in Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan.

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