Duke Street Capital Ltd., the British private equity firm that shelved plans to raise a new fund, is considering a sale of its French medical-testing company Biomnis.
Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) was appointed to evaluate options for Biomnis, including a sale, according to a spokesman for Duke Street, who declined to be named to comply with company policy.
Biomnis, based in Lyon, may be valued at between 300 million euros and 400 million euros ($525 million), according to two people with knowledge of the deliberations.
The potential auction is set to start next month, said one person, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. Bidders may include 3i Group Plc (III), the largest publicly traded British buyout firm, and France’s PAI Partners two other people said.
Biomnis processes more than 10 million tests annually for clients in 40 countries, according to information available on its website. Duke Street acquired it in 2008 for 217 million euros.
Biomnis posted about 241 million euros in sales last year and has more than 1,700 employees, Duke Street’s website said.
Duke Street, which manages a 963 million-euro buyout fund raised in 2007, is seeking to return cash to its investors after shelving plans to raise an 850 million euro fund amid a difficult financing environment, one person said.
A spokeswoman for 3i declined to comment, and a spokesman for PAI couldn’t immediately comment.
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