CVC Capital Partners is nearing a deal to acquire European over-the-counter drugmaker Cooper for about 2.2 billion euros ($2.6 billion), people familiar with the matter said.
The private equity firm is negotiating detailed terms of an agreement with Cooper’s owner, Charterhouse Capital Partners, according to the people. CVC beat out rival suitors including a consortium led by PAI Partners, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.
No final agreements have been signed yet, and talks could still fall apart, the people said. Representatives for Charterhouse, CVC and PAI declined to comment.
Cooper manufactures over-the-counter treatments, including creams, sprays and nutritional supplements, that don’t require a doctor’s prescription. Demand for such products has risen as people seek ways to stay healthy and boost their immune systems during the Covid-19 pandemic. Charterhouse bought Cooper in 2015.
A deal would add to almost $11 billion of health-care acquisitions by private equity firms in Europe in 2021, a figure that’s up more than 700% year-on-year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Buyout firms have also been taking advantage of investor appetite for health-care assets to offload businesses to peers and strategic investors. BC Partners is weighing a sale of European generic drugmaker Pharmathen, which could be valued at as much as 1.5 billion euros, while last year CVC agreed to sell a major stake in French clinic chain Elsan to KKR & Co. and Ardian SAS for about $4 billion.