CVC talks $4B Alvogen sale with Shanghai after just 2 years of ownership

Alvogen
A CVC-led consortium in 2015 snapped up control of Alvogen, whose new, Iceland-based biologics plant is pictured above.

Amid a wave of consolidation prompted by pricing pressures on the generics industry, another sale is brewing.

The private equity owners of Alvogen—which include CVC Capital Partners—are weighing their options for the New Jersey drugmaker, which could be valued at about $4 billion, Bloomberg reports. And a sale of Alvogen’s U.S. business to Shanghai Pharmaceuticals Holding Co. is on the table.

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CVC and its fellow controlling shareholders—who nabbed their stake in a 2015 deal that valued Alvogen at $2 billion—have held on-and-off talks with Shanghai, the news service notes. Though while they’re not formally putting the company up for auction, they may hold talks with other international suitors.

Under a potential Shanghai transaction, Alvogen would hang onto its operations in Asia and Europe, which include Alvogen Korea Co., a plant in Romania, and a packaging center in Serbia. Shanghai, though, would pick up Alvogen’s biggest market, where it sells generics in therapeutic areas such as oncology, cardiology and neurology and provides third-party services including contract manufacturing in clinical research.

For Shanghai, the buy would be a boost in the wake of a failed play for German generics maker Stada, which is going through the sale process with private equity partners Bain Capital and Cinven. The company is also currently bidding for a stake in Atlanta’s Arbor Pharmaceuticals and Cardinal Health’s Chinese distribution business.

For years, Alvogen, launched and helmed by former Actavis executive Robert Wessman, has said it’s angling to become a top-tier generics player. The CVC-led deal seemed to further that aim, with Wessman touting his company’s new access to "significant experience and additional resources" to pump up growth.

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Times have grown increasingly tough for generics competitors over the last couple of years, prompting some, such as Stada, to consider selling. Othersparticularly in the industry’s top rankshave gone for scale instead and made buys of their own, with Teva forking over $40.5 billion for Allergan’s generics arm and Mylan shelling out $5.7 billion for Abbott Laboratories’ ex-U.S. copycat business.