EQT agrees sale of healthcare industry supplier Schülke; MiddleGround talks motorsport’s appeal

Schülke is a supplier of disinfectants and antisepsis products to hospitals and other healthcare institutions.

We’re kicking things off with a look at EQT exiting an investment it made during the height of the covid pandemic, as it agrees to sell Schülke, a provider of infection prevention and treatment products for the healthcare industry. We’ve got the enterprise value on that one for you.

Next, Nina Lindholm takes a deep dive into MiddleGround’s recent acquisition of Xtrac, a supplier to the motorsport industry, from Inflexion.

Rounding out the deals, we’ve got DBAG agreeing to acquire a majority stake in TBD Technische Bau Dienstleistungen.

We then finish on some deal rumours, one involving a company owned by BC Partners and Pollen Street Capital and another featuring Inflexion.

Exit route

We’ve heard a lot about the difficulties involved in exiting deals, with a moribund IPO market and higher cost of financing for acquirers among the factors.

But this morning, EQT announced it had agreed to sell Schülke, a provider of infection prevention and treatment products for the healthcare industry, to a consortium led by Munich-based single-family office ATHOS with co-investors including Bitburger Holding.

The enterprise value was around €1.4 billion, according to a source close to the deal.

It was the latest exit for EQT, which has completed four in the last three months. Most recently it sold Ellab to Novo Holdings and BBS Automation to Dürr Group in June – both, like Schülke, Germany-based.

Schülke supplies hospitals and other healthcare institutions with disinfectants and antisepsis products. It sells to the pharmacy and direct patient care channels, as well as the global life sciences industry.

EQT acquired Schülke in July 2020 – at the height of the covid pandemic.

Schülke has delivered double digit annual revenue growth and almost doubled EBITDA in its core healthcare business under EQT Private Equity’s ownership, according to a release.

“In close partnership with the management team, we have transformed Schülke from a corporate subsidiary to a high-performing, stand-alone healthcare company,” said Matthias Wittkowski, partner within EQT Private Equity’s advisory team.

Winning fans

Switching track now to motorsport, and our resident Formula One fan Nina Lindholm has an in-depth look at MiddleGround’s recent acquisition of Xtrac, a manufacturer and supplier of transmissions for professional motorsport and automotive applications.

Lexington, Kentucky-based MiddleGround’s European office completed its first platform acquisition with Xtrac, which it bought from London-headquartered mid-market private equity firm Inflexion.

Headquartered in Thatcham in the UK, Xtrac is a supplier of transmissions to professional race teams, including teams in Formula One, Formula E, Sportscar, world rallying and off-road racing, IndyCar and NASCAR.

“Increasing consumer interest in motorsport and the continued innovation of the mobility space are driving growth in both markets and creating compelling investment opportunities, particularly in businesses with a culture of innovation that can develop products for increasingly complex vehicles,” Alex van der Have, managing director and head of the EU Transaction Team at MiddleGround, told Nina.

Check out the full interview to learn about MiddleGround’s international expansion plans for Xtrac as well as how the investment fits into the private equity firm’s wider strategy.

Private equity’s attempt to tap into sports’ growing fan bases is of course something we’ve been covering in detail here on PE Hub Europe. Just last week, we looked at a report on private equity’s role in sport by SportsBusiness, where we focused on some of the revenue figures for Spain’s LaLiga football league.


Deutsche Beteiligungs (DBAG), via a management buyout, will acquire a majority stake in TBD Technische Bau Dienstleistungen, a service provider for critical infrastructure, from its founders.

TBD is headquartered in Friedeburg, Germany. The company provides technical construction services.

TBD’s founders, Uwe Jahnke and Wilfried Eschen, will remain as minority shareholders, while Jahnke, alongside TBD’s team, will lead the company solely.

Banking tie-up

Switching to financial services, and Sky News has cited sources who said that private equity-backed UK bank the Shawbrook Group has approached the owners of the Co-operative Bank with plans for a £3.5 billion ($4.5 billion; €4.1 billion) stock-based combination of the two businesses.

The sources said that the deal was aimed to pre-empt a full auction of the Co-op Bank, which is a division of the Co-op Group. It would see the Co-op Bank’s shareholders get roughly 29 percent of the combined banking group and would value the Co-op at around £800 million, the sources said.

BC Partners and Pollen Street Capital are the private equity owners of Shawbrook. Both declined to comment on the story when approached by PE Hub Europe.


Inflexion is among the potential buyers for Nicotinell, a smoking cessation product that is up for sale by Haleon, a UK consumer health company, according to sources spoken to by Sky News.

Inflexion declined to comment when contacted by PE Hub Europe.