Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP (“Charterhouse”), one of the longest established private equity firms operating in Europe, has entered into exclusive negotiations for the sale of a majority stake in Cooper Consumer Health (“Cooper” or “the Company”), a European independent over-the-counter (“OTC”) drug manufacturer and distributor, to CVC Fund VII.
The transaction is subject to workers’ council information and consultation and to the approval of relevant regulatory authorities.
Cooper, which is headquartered in Paris, was acquired by Charterhouse in 2016 and since that time has been transformed from a local French champion into a pan-European pure-play OTC platform that manufactures and distributes a diversified portfolio of branded and basic products on an international basis. Under Charterhouse’s ownership, the company has more than doubled in size through a combination of organic growth initiatives and targeted M&A activity to consolidate the sector and revenues are now close to EUR500 million. This included the strategic acquisition and integration of international consumer health company Vemedia, a large OTC branded product portfolio from Sanofi, alongside nine other successfully integrated add-ons to add further complementary brands.
Cooper’s large, international platform has a direct presence in seven European markets and over 30 export markets. It has a wide-ranging and complementary portfolio of branded products, including OTC medicines, dietary supplements and medical devices, positioning Cooper as a “one stop shop” for its customers, which include pharmacies, wholesalers and drugstores. The Company is well-placed for further international expansion and organic growth.
As part of the transaction, Charterhouse would make a significant reinvestment in Cooper and continue to support the growth and international expansion of the business alongside CVC, which has partnered with Vemedia founder Yvan Vindevogel and specialised healthcare fund Avista Capital Partners, and the management team.
Vincent Pautet, Partner at Charterhouse, says: “This is another milestone investment for Charterhouse, which once again demonstrates its expertise in transforming strong local businesses into truly European leaders. It has been a pleasure working with Cooper’s world-class management team to create the leading independent OTC platform in Europe. The Company has built an excellent position in a growing, highly attractive market and we look forward to continuing to support its expansion.”
Michael Lavrysen and Victor Blanchard, Senior Managing Directors at CVC Capital Partners, add: “Having admired and closely followed Cooper’s progress for many years, we are delighted to now have the opportunity to team up with its strong management team, as well as our new partners Charterhouse, Avista Capital Partners and Yvan Vindevogel. Their knowledge of the Company and experience the sector will be invaluable in realising our shared vision for the development and long-term growth of the business.”
Yvan Vindevogel, CEO of Damier, adds: “I’ve been working together with CVC in the Consumer Healthcare space, as well as with Charterhouse and Avista Capital Partners, for quite a while now. This new enlarged team will be able to create a true Consumer Health powerhouse and accelerate the already impressive growth of the Company.”