Oxoid Holdings Limited

Jan 1997
Jul 2000

Cinven led the £85 million buyout of Oxoid from Unilever in January 1997. The opportunity arose out of Unilever’s decision to divest its non-consumer businesses.

Oxoid was a leading, vertically integrated European microbiology business. The company developed, manufactured and distributed a range of high quality media cultures and related products required for microbiological diagnosis in the clinical, food and beverage industries worldwide. Oxoid was headquartered in Basingstoke, England where the majority of products were manufactured. There were also plants in Germany, Canada and Scotland.

Cinven’s strategy was to provide capital and expertise to enable an experienced Chief Executive to grow a market leading business. The management team was strengthened through the appointment of a Chairman, Finance Director and R&D Director.

Outcome With Cinven’s help, acquisitions were made to expand Oxoid’s geographic coverage and product range. Distributors in Austria and Switzerland were acquired, a joint venture partner in Canada was bought out and a prepared media manufacturer was purchased. A profitable Brazilian sales operation was also set up. Enhanced manufacturing facilities in the UK and Germany were developed. The company was repositioned towards the faster growing industrial microbiology market through emphasis on R&D in this area. Distribution of third party products was undertaken to leverage the Oxoid distribution infrastructure.

Following the successful development of the business, Oxoid was sold to a financial buyer in July 2000.

Multiple returned on investment: 2x