Netherlands: Charterhouse Capital explores sale of Cooper-Vemedia

Rob Drenth, chief executive, Vemedia

Charterhouse Capital Partners is reportedly looking to sell its stake in European OTC drug manufacturer and distributor Cooper-Vemedia.

The London-based private equity investment firm initially acquired Coopération Pharmaceutique Française, the French pharmaceuticals distributor known as Cooper, from Caravelle in October 2015. It added Vemedia Group, a producer and distributor of over-the-counter drugs, food supplements and medical devices, from IK Investment Partners in July 2016.

There was also the bolt-on acquisition of a portfolio of 12 pharmaceutical brands from Sanofi for €158m (US$185.2m) in April 2018 and Switzerland’s Laboratoires Diepharmex in June 2019.

Charterhouse’s strategy has been to create a pure-play OTC pan-European leader

Local newspaper reports say that the Rothschild has been appointed to handle the sale of the Diemen-headquartered company and that the deal could be worth around €2bn.

Vemedia is the leader in the calming and sleeping segment with its brand Valdispert; in the beauty from within segment with Oenobiol; and in the medicated foot care segment with the brand Excilor. The company is also active in a number of other categories with brands such as Roter and Dagravit.

It manufactures the majority of its products in its GMP-licenced manufacturing facility which specialises in the production of (film-coated) tablets, sachets and capsules in bottles and blisterpacks. Vemedia also has some contract manufacturing business.