Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is mulling bids from some of the biggest names in private equity for its Ortho Clinical Diagnostics blood testing business, which the healthcare conglomerate put on the auction block earlier this month.
Blackstone Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Bain Capital, Carlyle Group and BC Partners all submitted 1st-round bids last week and are waiting to hear this week if they made the cut, according to Reuters, which cited "several people familiar with the matter."
Johnson & Johnson tapped JPMorgan Chase & Co. to solicit bids for the OCD division earlier this month. Abbott (NYSE:ABT), GE (NYSE:GE) and Danaher (NYSE:DHR) were all said to be potential suitors for the unit, which threw off between $400 million and $500 million in adjusted earnings last year on sales of roughly $2 billion.
Ortho Clinical Diagnostics could go for as much as $5 billion, said the Reuters sources, who "spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details of the process publicly."
Earlier this year the New Brunswick, N.J.-based healthcare conglomerate said it planned to seek "strategic alternatives" for the OCD unit, usually a signal that a business could come up for sale. Measured by revenues, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics ranks 5th in the clinical diagnostics market, which is led by Roche (PINK:RHHBY).