Bellco started out 40 years ago as a pioneer in the haemodialysis renal care. By 2008 it was a division of larger group called Sorin, which focused on cardiopulmonary treatments, but was suffering under the burden of heavy debts. In the midst of challenging financial market conditions, Argos Wityu put together a proposal with Bellco's management and Italian investment group MP Venture to buy out the company from Sorin and restore its fortunes.
The plan focused on boosting Bellco’s overseas business, and by 2012 when Argos sold the business, Bellco had more than doubled international sales of its products, including renal care machines and new therapies for blood management. It has also registered more than five new patents (including AbylCap and Carpe Diem) and employs over 350 people. The company subsequently enjoyed a further successful period under private equity ownership, before being acquired by Medtronic, one of the world's largest medical technology businesses, in 2016.
Argos actively helped us to complete a very complex carve-out and then has always been very supportive and focused on innovation and growth.
Carlo Vanoli Chairman, Bellco
What did the business need?
- Clear focus on renal care and blood management
- New IT system and new management team to become a standalone company
- Development of new patented therapies
- Support and capital for accelerated international growth
How did private equity backing create lasting value?
- Signed new long-term contracts with key suppliers
- Improved company’s access to bank loans and other forms of finance
- Established a new reporting system and improved use of working capital
- Set up new overseas branches and commercial offices in Holland and Canada
- Enhanced R&D efforts with a focus on new acute therapies and dialysis machinery
What outcomes did private equity investment achieve?
- Arrested declining performance and increased company sales by 10% in three years to €109.2m
- Grew staff by more than 8%, with main focus on R&D and marketing
- Positioned the company in the lucrative and high-growth intensive care blood management niche
- Increased profitability by over 50% during ownership