Medline Industries is looking for a buyer in a deal that could be worth $30 billion, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The Journal cites “people familiar with the matter” saying that Northfield, Ill.-based Medline has hired Goldman Sachs to manage the process. The people added that the company might alternatively seek to go public or accept minority investors.
Medline, which touts itself as the world’s largest privately-held manufacturer and distributor of medical supplies, declined to comment.
Medline would be a big fish to swallow. The company thrived as it provided supplies needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. It posted sales of $17.5 billion in 2020 — up a whopping 25.9% from 2019’s sales. In comparison, its revenue increased 18.8% between 2018 and 2019 when there wasn’t a pandemic. It ranked ninth among Medical Design & Outsourcing’s Big 100, a compilation of the largest companies in medtech.
Medline met the growing demand for face masks and other essential medical equipment during COVID-19 by dramatically expanding its footprint. It opened several 1 million ft2 or larger distribution centers in the U.S. Medline also expanded its manufacturing at its Lithia Springs, Ga. plant to produce 36 million face masks per month.
The company’s headcount has remained the same since 2018, with 27,000 reported employees.
Family-owned Medline offers more than 550,000 medical products and clinical solutions ranging from surgical gloves to wheelchairs to face masks to thermometers. As the COVID-19 pandemic ramped up in 2020, Medline agreed to reprocess tens of thousands of N95 respirators and other face masks per day in its facilities — and it started cranking out hand sanitizer at an infection-prevention products plant in Wisconsin.
Medline hasn’t shied away from M&A deals, paying $167.5 million to acquire the Namic fluid management business from AngioDynamics in 2019 and spending $29 million to buy the SensiCare and Aloe Vesta collection of skincare product lines from ConvaTec.
The Journal‘s sources mentioned Blackstone Group Inc., KKR & Co. and Carlyle Group Inc. as possible bidders.