Bristol-Myers Squibb’s plan to reduce its non-pharmaceutical businesses has moved on with the sale of its ConvaTec wound care business to a couple of private equity investors for $4.1 billion.

Nordic Capital Fund VII and Avista Capital Partners have teamed up to buy ConvaTec which employs around 3,400 staff and posted a 14% sales rise in the first quarter to $290 million. The deal follows B-MS’ decision last December to sell its medical imaging unit to Avista for $525 million and an announcement at the end of April that the firm will sell approximately 10% (and no more than 20%) of its Mead Johnson Nutritionals unit through an initial public offering.

B-MS chief executive James Cornelius said that "these decisions support our next-generation biopharma strategy. We will now have additional financial resources to expedite that strategy as we continue to work to help patients prevail over serious diseases”. Dave Johnson, who will remain chief executive of ConvaTec, said that Nordic Capital and Avista “have a proven track record of success in the healthcare industry” and “their deep experience in guiding strategy and backing companies will help take ConvaTec to the next level of success as an independent company”.

The deal, which is subject to the usual regulatory approvals and delivery of ConvaTec’s audited 2007 financial statements, is expected to close in the third quarter of 2008. The sale is part of B-MS’ wider plan to cut 10% of its work force, or about 4,300 jobs, and close half of its 38 manufacturing plants in a bid to save about $1.5 billion by 2010.