Healthcare and professional services to the fore with Inflexion, Mobeus, Permira, LDC and IceLake Capital involved

Inflexion’s portfolio company SteriPack announced it has acquired Kinneir Dufort, a user-centred design and product development firm.

It’s a frosty morning in London but the dealmaking environment is still warm. We’ve got deals in healthcare and professional services to report, and we kick off with a PE to PE play.

Adding on. Inflexion’s portfolio company SteriPack announced it has acquired Kinneir Dufort (KD), a user-centred design and product development firm. For Mobeus, which sells its stake in KD, the exit delivers 2.8x MoC and 28 percent IRR. The MoC could rise to up to 3.0x if KD achieves “certain financial objectives post completion”, said Mobeus.

Based in Bristol in the UK, KD provides its consultancy and innovation services to medical, consumer and industrial clients globally.

SteriPack Group, headquartered in Lakeland, Florida, is a full-service contract manufacturer serving global medical device, diagnostic and pharmaceutical customers.

Read more about KD’s growth under Mobeus here.

Pharma push. Sticking with healthcare, Neuraxpharm Group, a European specialty pharmaceutical company focused on central nervous system (CNS) disorders backed by Permira, established Neuraxpharm Netherlands.

The new entity will provide differentiated and specialty generics in the Netherlands. It has so far launched two products: Dimethyl Fumarate to treat multiple sclerosis and Lacosamide, a product for the treatment of epileptic seizures. The company also plans to launch Rivastagmin for treating dementia.

Neuraxpharm Netherlands will operate from Naarden.

The parent has a presence in more than 60 countries and has operated in the CNS sector for over 35 years. Over the last few months it entered the Greek market and has made several acquisitions.

Permira is a private equity firm headquartered in London. It invested in Neuraxpharm in 2020.

We’ve been writing plenty of pharma-related stories of late. Check out our in-depth piece on Ardian’s plans for Italy’s Neopharmed here.

Growth play. Mid-market private equity firm LDC will invest in scarlettabbott, a UK employee engagement and internal communications consultancy, the firms said this morning.

Founded in 2006, scarlettabbott focuses on employee engagement, change management, behavioural science and internal communications. It has offices in York and London and employs 50 people. Its clients include firms such as Sony Interactive Entertainment,, EY and Chivas Brothers. The firm has had a compound annual growth rate of more than 20 percent for the last four years.

LDC is backing the existing management team, led by CEO Jeremy Petty, to support its growth strategy. It will invest in scarlettabbott’s products, services and people and aims to double the firm’s headcount within five years.

“The world of work continues to evolve, and an ever-increasing number of businesses are adopting more flexible working patterns to support their people,” said Lee Donaldson, investment director at LDC in the North East and Scotland, in a statement. “This, coupled with the importance of recruiting and retaining the best talent, means employee engagement is high on the boardroom agenda across all sectors.”

Human resources. In more professional services news, IceLake Capital, a private equity firm headquartered in Amsterdam, agreed to invest in HR-tech service provider HeadFirst Group. The move aims to help Headfirst, which operates in the Benelux, expand in Europe.

Headfirst offers a range of services for mid-size and large clients in the private and public sector. It has doubled its size via organic and M&A growth over the last two years to reach €2 billion of revenue, according to a statement. The firm is headquartered in Hoofddorp in the Netherlands.

IceLake’s investment is part of a “broader funding commitment” towards HeadFirst’s international M&A plans, according to a statement.

“We look forward to work with their experienced board and management team to realise their ambitions and providing its innovative, value-added solutions to an even wider range of clients, suppliers, and professionals,” said Bastiaan Hagenouw, partner and co-founder at IceLake, in a statement.

This is the first HR sector activity we’ve seen for a little while. Back in early November, Bain Capital-backed House of HR made a move for two companies in the sector.

Timely deal. Partners Group is buying a majority stake in Swiss luxury watch company Breitling, according to a report by

Partners, a private equity firm headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, built up a minority stake in Breitling in 2021 and plans to reach a 50.3 percent stake, with a first closing expected by mid-December, according to documents seen by

We spoke to Partners about the report but got “no comment” in response.

Macro opportunities. Our affiliate site Private Equity International is taking a look at how the volatile macro environment is affecting GPs. I’d spoken to Ivano Sessa, managing director of private equity at Bain Capital, as part of that report – and he had a rather positive outlook.

“Macro uncertainty [and] equity-markets uncertainty typically creates, on a long-term basis, some of the best opportunities for private equity,” he told me. “[There] are typically moments in time where there is a wider gap between current performance and full potential… [PE firms can] identify that gap, create the right conditions to close the gap and then go and execute and fundamentally create much better businesses.”

On that note, do check out the first episode of our miniseries, Private Markets and the End of Cheap Money.

Mary Kathleen Flynn, editor-in-chief of affiliate title PE Hub, spoke with a wide range of dealmakers, including private equity firm leaders, lenders and investment bankers, about the impact of high interest rates and other factors like high inflation on private equity-backed transactions.

You can listen to the episode here.

That’s it from me today. Nina Lindholm is on a well-deserved holiday tomorrow so I’ll be back with you again to round out the weekend.