Will Acelity go public again?

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Privately held Acelity may go public again, according to news reports this week.

London-based Apax Partners and a pair of Canadian pension funds acquired wound-care company Kinetic Concepts Inc. (now Acelity) for $6.1 billion in a leveraged buyout in 2011.  Apax is now mulling an initial public offering for Acelity by mid-2019, Bloomberg and the San Antonio Express-news reported. Bloomberg cited unnamed sources with knowledge of the possible IPO, the Express-News report said.

Apax has begun discussing a potential listing with advisers, the news outlets said. Sources told Bloomberg that an IPO could value Acelity at $5 billion.

“While we are always reviewing the strategic options available to our company, our policy is not to comment on market speculation and rumors,” Acelity spokesman Maggie Fairchild told MassDevice in an email.

In 2016, Acelity called off an initial public offering that could have fetched as much as $1 billion, citing market conditions.

Earlier this year, Acelity agreed to sell its Systagenix facility in Gargrave, England, to Scapa Healthcare and inked a deal to buy Crawford Healthcare. Then-KCI had acquired Systagenix for $485 million in 2013. The company united Systagenix, LifeCell and KCI under the Acelity brand in 2014 and sold LifeCell to Allergan for $2.9 billion in 2016.

Jim Leininger, M.D., an accident and emergency physician, founded KCI in 1976 to manufacture a critical care bed. KCI raised $50 million in its first IPO in 1988 and took itself private again in 1997, according to the Express-News. The company went public again in 2004, landing a listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

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