SSL sells Regent to Apax in £173m deal

Durex condoms maker, SSL International, has agreed to sell Regent Infection Control to Apax Partners in a deal worth £173m.

Durex condoms maker, SSL International, has agreed to sell Regent Infection Control to Apax Partners in a deal worth £173m.

The management buyout of the SSL business, which comprises the Biogel surgical gloves operation and the Hibi antiseptics business, was finalised late on Friday night. It will allow SSL to lower its near £300m debt pile.

This is the second deal with Apax in just over a month. In mid-April SSL sold its bandages business, Medlock Medical, to Apax for £55m. More details of the latest transaction with Apax are expected to be revealed on Thursday when SSL announces its full-year results.

The deal with Apax is the culmination of a radical restructuring programme that has so far raised £250m. However, the weakening dollar means the final sum raised from asset sales will fall £40m short of SSL's original target of £300m.

News of the sale of the surgical gloves and antiseptics division will hearten the City. Shareholders have seen SSL suffer torrid times recently, including a scandal over false invoices that resulted in a Serious Fraud Office investigation with five former directors charged in November.

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