Blackstone sees great future in aesthetic medicine; Apax and Fremman take Palex Medical; One Rock goes for Constantia

Lazeo is a family-owned provider of non-invasive aesthetic medicine services such as laser hair removal, injectables, body contouring and medical-grade facials.

We open today with a deep dive into Blackstone’s investment in Lazeo, provider of aesthetic medicine services, as I speak to senior managing partner Raphael de Botton to learn more about the deal.

Sticking with healthcare, we take a look at Apax and Fremman’s joint acquisition of medtech company Palex Medical.

We’ll finish up with a deal by One Rock Capital Partners, as the firm has entered an agreement to acquire Constantia Flexibles, a packaging manufacturer, from Wendel.

Mirror, mirror

The pandemic affected industries very differently, but one I hadn’t considered was aesthetic medicine. I recently caught up with Blackstone’s senior managing partner Raphael de Botton about the firm’s investment in Lazeo; a founder-led, family-owned provider of non-invasive aesthetic medicine services such as laser hair removal, injectables, body contouring and medical-grade facials.

Funds managed by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities announced an investment in Lazeo in July.

“There’s a bit of a ‘Zoom effect’ – people are seeing their face in the mirror a lot more, and therefore looking for ways to improve the way they look,” de Botton told me. “However, they don’t want to go into anything intrusive, so the non-invasive medicine [sector] has a great future.”

The market is underpenetrated considering the amount of people using the services, according to de Botton. Blackstone had never invested in the laser hair removal sector, but the firm is not stepping completely into the unknown either. In 2020, it acquired a majority stake in ZO Skin Health, an Irvine, California-based skincare brand. At the end of 2021, Blackstone Growth agreed to make a majority investment in Supergoop!, a skincare brand focused on sunscreens.

To learn more about the ‘Zoom effect’ and Blackstone’s growth plans for Lazeo, you can read my story here.

Healthy deal

Let’s stay within healthcare deals a little longer. Apax Partners LLP and Fremman Capital have reached a definitive agreement to jointly acquire co-controlling stakes in Palex Medical, an independent medtech services provider in Southern Europe.

The deal values Palex at around €1 billion, sources with knowledge on the deal told Reuters.

Palex is based in Barcelona. The company focuses on the marketing, sales and logistics of medtech equipment for public and private hospitals and laboratories in Spain, Portugal and Italy.

The selling shareholders are funds advised by Fremman, the current majority shareholder, and other minority shareholders. Fremman first invested in Palex in December 2021.

Apax and Fremman will partner with Palex’s management team to help drive future value creation and pursue international growth, according to a release.

“We have long identified the healthcare distribution sector as an ideal intersection between Apax’s deep expertise in MedTech and strong track record of investment in distribution-focused businesses,” said Frank Ehmer, partner, Apax. “Palex has consistently outperformed over decades, with an unrivalled reputation and offering, and we look forward to building on this success to date, leveraging our experience and insights to help the team accelerate growth and execute on our joint vision for the future.”

Package deal

Stepping away from healthcare, One Rock Capital Partners has entered a definitive agreement to acquire Constantia Flexibles, a global packaging manufacturer, from Wendel.

Constantia, based in Vienna, will be sold for a price that yields net proceeds of around €1.1 billion, reflecting a multiple of 1.94 times Wendel’s total investment in Constantia.

The transaction net proceeds are €84 million above Constantia Flexibles’ valuation in Wendel’s net asset value published before 31 March.

The additional proceeds generated by Constantia’s ongoing assets disposals will bring the proceeds up to €1.12 billion, ie, a valuation 11 percent higher than the NAV at 31 March, 2023, and 6.8 percent higher than the NAV at June 30, 2023, according to a release

Wendel invested in Constantia in 2015.

“Constantia has grown through acquisition and innovation to be a leader serving its food and pharma customers,” said Telmo Valido, partner at One Rock. “We look forward to partnering with Constantia’s management team to continue innovating to solve for the evolving packaging needs and sustainability requirements of the company’s customers.”