| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Biomet Inc, the U.S. medical device maker that was taken private by a private equity consortium for $11.4 billion (6.8 billion pounds) in 2007, has hired underwriters for an initial public offering later this year, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
The offering could come in the first half of 2014 and raise more than $1 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is not public.
Biomet's owners -- Blackstone Group LP (BX.N), Goldman Sachs Group Inc's (GS.N) private equity arm, KKR & Co LP (KKR.N) and TPG Capital LP -- have selected Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC.N), Goldman Sachs Group (GS.N) and JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) to lead the IPO, the people said.
Blackstone and Biomet did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Representatives for TPG, KKR and the banks declined to comment.
Founded in 1977, and based in Warsaw, Indiana, Biomet designs, manufacturers and markets products that include dental implants and artificial hips joints. Biomet competes with Smith & Nephew PLC and Stryker Corp (SYK.N).
Biomet's buyout was done at the top of the market. But since then the medical device industry was hit during the financial crisis as patients delayed surgery and joint replacements. Pricing pressure for hip and knee replacements has also impacted the sector.
Biomet is one of the few remaining large companies taken over by private equity firms during the buyout boom that has not yet gone public.
Other large private equity-owned companies that have gone public in the past 12 months include hotel chain Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (HLT.N), oil and gas company Antero Resources Corp (AR.N) and industrials supply company HD Supply Holdings Inc (HDS.O).
Biomet's sales topped $3 billion in the fiscal year ended May 31, 2013, up 8 percent from the previous year. Adjusted net income was $368 million, up 46 percent over the same period.
(Reporting by Olivia Oran and Soyoung Kim in New York; Additional reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in Berlin; Editing by Leslie Adler)