One-on-One with Silvia Oteri: Building Authentic Relationships in Deal-Making
We chatted to Silvia Oteri, Partner and Global Head of Healthcare at Permira, about the value of partnership, Permira’s approach to working with family-owned businesses and the story of how these elements led to the collaboration with Kedrion and BPL.
How do you look to work with founders, families, and management-owners?
Our values as a firm are partnership, integrity and creativity – and we really look to live by these values through how we work, including when we support founders, families and management teams.
Partnership starts with trust. We collaborate and partner with our counterparties authentically by establishing that trust early and demonstrating to them that we have the ideas and expertise to help them scale, as well as the resources and desire to support them over the long-term.
With families, we combine a relationship-based approach to origination with a deep, science-based method to diligence. Partnering with families requires a truly distinctive approach that is both product-centric and rooted in authentic personal relationships, empathy and understanding. It starts with recognising that the family is rooted in the business and the business is rooted in the family, and understanding the pride generated by building something from scratch and pursuing a vision that has been patiently translated into reality with dedication and passion.
What makes partnering with Permira attractive to these parties?
There are a number of ways to break this down but as a firm and as a sector team, we have a lot of experience in working with families, having done so many times over the years. We have a track record that demonstrates our collaborative approach and culture from the get-go. Ultimately, this is a critical factor in getting families comfortable with the idea that we are the right partners for them.
Within healthcare specifically, Kedrion is an excellent example of this approach at its best. The company, a rare excellence in an attractive niche, was very much sought after by private equity and industry suitors, but the founding Marcucci family had for years preferred to continue their journey with minority-only partners.
The Permira team cultivated their relationship with the Marcucci family for years, waiting for the right opportunity to partner on a transformational project, and ultimately built the trust required to unlock the transaction. Several factors helped establish this trust:
- Developing a relationship between the family and Permira for over 15 years
- Operating in a collaborative manner from day one of that relationship to demonstrate what partnership with us looks like
- Bringing deep expertise and knowledge in building and developing platforms in the healthcare sector
- Believing in the Marcucci family’s vision for Kedrion, and then bringing that to life with the BPL transaction
Can you talk more about how the deal with Kedrion and BPL came to be?
Kedrion is a leading Italian plasma derivates business and we had tracked the company since 2006, building a close relationship with the Marcucci family in the process. BPL, based in the UK, is a smaller plasma player with a portfolio of differentiated products, and has recently been the fastest growing player in the industry.
Last year we partnered with Kedrion’s shareholders to jointly acquire and combine the two companies, creating a large and fast-growing leader in the plasma derivatives space comprising 4000 people and a portfolio of 37 life-saving products spanning over 100 countries. It was a highly complex transaction that required navigating a number of challenges, including diligencing an industry crippled by Covid-19, as well as patience, agility and strong relationships with multiple stakeholders.
The BPL process began before that, in May 2021, and the deals were simultaneously signed in January 2022 after a nine-month journey bringing the deal from conception to reality. Paolo Marcucci remains Chairman, with a new team, led by Ugo di Francesco (former CEO of Chiesi), already integrated and leading the business.
Looking ahead, Permira and the Marcucci family will support Kedrion/BPL to deliver growth through internationalisation of the existing product portfolio, acceleration of new product development and inorganic growth opportunities. Kedrion intends to be the industry leader in donor care, investing in donor safety and enhancing donor community engagement. Additionally, the business will expand its capacity and rare disease portfolio with the ultimate goal of saving more patient lives.