EXCLUSIVE-Buyout firms GTCR, CD&R circle Merit Medical -sources

By Chibuike Oguh

April 8 (Reuters)GTCR LLC and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) are among private equity firms that have expressed interest in acquiring U.S. medical device manufacturer Merit Medical Systems Inc MMSI.O, according to people familiar with the matter.

GTCR has informed Merit Medical it would be willing to pay $72 to $75 per share, one of the sources said. Merit Medical shares were trading at around $61 before Reuters reported on March 9 that the company was exploring a sale.

Other private equity firms could also express interest in Merit Medical and there is no certainty that any deal will be reached, the sources said. Should there be a deal, it could come as early as May, the sources added, asking not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

Spokespeople for GTCR and CD&R declined to comment. A Merit Medical spokesperson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Merit Medical manufactures and sells devices and instruments used in cardiology, radiology, oncology, critical care and endoscopy.

The South Jordan, Utah-based company previously attracted the interest of activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP, which clinched an agreement in 2020 to shake up Merit’s board of directors.

Both GTCR and CD&R are prolific investors in health and medical device businesses and have been seeking to capitalize on a wave of consolidation sweeping the industry.

One of GTCR’s portfolio companies, vaccine reagent provider Maravai LifeSciences Holdings Inc MRVI.O, turned down an $11 billion acquisition offer from laboratory supplies vendor Sartorius AG SATG.DE in February, sources told Reuters at the time. It remains possible that the companies will negotiate a deal.

(Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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