Last week Baxter International, the Deerfield, Illinois healthcare company, announced it would buy Gambro AB, the privately held Swedish dialysis product maker for about $4 billion.

For Gambro, which is owned by Sweden-based private equity funds Investor AB and EQT, the opportunity to join Baxter and form the world’s second-largest dialysis company was too good to pass. Growth at Gambro in recent years has slowed down due to price competition and a slumping European economy. For Baxter, which in 2011 had revenue of nearly $14 billion and a pile of cash overseas, it was a strategic opportunity to deploy the capital. But for EQT and Investor AB, the two private equity funds that own Gambro, it was another highly profitable deal that the Swedish dealmakers helped engineer.

In an environment in which dealmakers that also are long-term global investors are in short supply, Swedish private equity funds find themselves in great demand. “We’ve always been investors for the long term, avoiding the cyclicals and focusing on telecommunications, transformational IT and healthcare,” says Thomas von Koch, a founding partner of EQT, which manages more than $18 billion in assets.

....