An independent Regent Medical Ltd. hasn't experienced any major difficulties since a management group purchased it in late June from SSL International P.L.C.
In fact, aside from selection of a top management team and new headquarters, it's been pretty much business as usual, said Haydn Williams, the firm's director of research and development at its Manchester, England, facility.
The buyout group, funded through London-based Apax Partners & Co., paid about $310 million for the Biogel medical glove and Hibi antiseptics businesses of SSL, which had been attempting to sell them for two years to focus on consumer products.
More than 2,000 employees, 1,900 of them at production facilities in Malaysia, transferred to Regent Medical from London-based SSL.
Discussing the company at the International Latex Conference, Williams said the first order of business following the transaction was the selection of Stewart Heap as president and CEO of the firm and Robert James as president of Regent Medical Americas.
The second is setting up Regent Medical's central headquarters in Manchester, said Heap, who spoke from the company's Norcross, Ga., facility, which has served as its U.S. base for a number of years.
Heap will direct the global strategy of the organization. He had served as president and CEO of SSL Americas since January 2002, based at the Norcross site for more than two years.
Before joining SSL he was group vice president of CIBA Vision, a member of the Novartis International A.G. group of companies, and president of CIBA Vision's Global Contact Lens division.
James previously served as Regent Medical's vice president of sales for the Americas unit and has more than 15 years experience in the medical glove business.
``We will have a sizable operation in Norcross along with a warehouse to support our Americas business,'' Heap said. ``It will remain our U.S. headquarters and I'll commute between Norcross and Manchester'' on a regular basis.
Being an independent company owned by a private equity firm provides Regent with funds for acquisitions, Heap said. ``And it narrows our focus. We see our focus in the acute care environment...and we don't want to become too diverted.''
Within the structure of SSL, the Americas unit operated with a separate infrastructure, so the U.S. business made significant investments in sales and marketing over the last few years.
Because of that, Regent Medical probably will expand its operations to take advantage of glove opportunities in the U.S., according to Heap, who is a member of the group that bought the business.
Regent Medical's two manufacturing facilities and a finishing/packing plant in Malaysia will continue to produce Biogel lines of powder-free rubber latex and synthetic latex surgical gloves with no expansions planned, he said. ``But we will expand as we develop our business.''
As the company separates from SSL over the next several months, several changes should occur, he said without elaboration.
The jury is still out on how the sale will affect the company, Heap admitted.
``We have a 60-percent share of the powder-free latex glove market and a 36-percent share of the non-latex market,'' he said. ``Both have remained steady. And it's our intention to grow both the latex and synthetic.''