ARCHIMED buys WiQo, a pioneer in the field of aesthetic medicine
ARCHIMED will accelerate expansion of fast-growing WiQo organically and through acquisitions.
Global private equity healthcare specialist ARCHIMED announces the acquisition of WiQo, an innovative European consumer health player. Founded in 1995 and based in Muggia, Italy, WiQo’s patent-protected flagship product, PRX-T33 is the world’s only needle-free chemical stimulation treatment for skin rejuvenation. It is non-invasive and painless yet achieves the same aesthetic results as conventional skin peeling processes at a lower overall price point and without any of the recovery time associated with traditional methods. Beyond aesthetic benefits, PRX-T33 is a clinically proven medical product that improves skin health.
Additionally, WiQo devotes over 10 percent of sales to research & development and sells a growing line of cosmeceuticals. These products address dermatological skin disorders and deliver lab-tested therapeutic effects. WiQo’s products are distributed in over 45 countries on 5 continents through some 40,000 skin care professionals, including dermatologists, plastic surgeons, aesthetic physicians and medspa operators.
“With ARCHIMED’s backing, we expect to parlay global presence into global dominance,” says Dr. Rossana Castellana, the co-founder (alongside her husband) and Chairwoman of WiQo. “This deal is much more than a simple transaction, this is a long-term partnership aimed at highly ambitious growth.” Castellana and her family have rolled a significant portion of their proceeds from the all-equity deal back into WiQo, retaining 25 percent. Castellana will remain with WiQo, focusing on research & product development.
“In partnership with the founder and management, we aim to build a major, disruptive brand in aesthetic medicine, building on existing category leadership.”
Jean-Yves Desmottes, ARCHIMED Partner and Head of Consumer Health Sector
“We’ll help WiQo sustain rapid growth through the expansion of their clinically proven, safe and easy-to-apply products, organically and through a major acquisitions program,” says Jean-Yves Desmottes. WiQo’s revenues, profits and cash flow margins have increased several fold over the last decade, with adjusted sales climbing 35 percent annually over the last five years.
WiQo is the fourth investment of ARCHIMED’s MED III fund, which closed on €650 million in July, 2021. MED III targets small cap healthcare companies with annual revenues of €10 million to €100 million in Europe and North America, partnering with families, founders and management teams.
The latest fund’s predecessor, MED II, is a top quartile performer for global buyout funds for its 2018 vintage year, according to Preqin. The inaugural MED I fund, which raised €150 million in 2014, is ranked the best performing buyout fund globally for its vintage year, returning in excess of six times invested capital. ARCHIMED is also investing in the mid-cap space through its MED Platform II fund which has raised over €2.5 billion and started investing six months ago. Predecessor fund MED Platform I is a top decile performer for its 2019 vintage year, according to Preqin data.
The financing for the WIQo transaction was provided by Banco BPM as Agent Bank and Mandate Lead Arranger and Crédit Agricole Italia as Mandated Lead Arranger.