Acino agrees to $439M takeover offer from private equity firms

In the last year and change, the pharma industry has seen a torrent of private equity M&A activity. Wednesday, a couple more firms kept the streak going. Swiss drugmaker Acino agreed to be acquired by Avista Capital Partners and Nordic Capital for 398 million Swiss francs, or about $439 million.

The PE companies will offer Acino holders 115 Swiss francs per share, a 33% premium to Tuesday's closing share price of 86.50 Swiss francs. Lazard and Credit Suisse will advise on the tender offer, expected to take place between Oct. 21 and Nov. 15. Acino's board unanimously supports the acquisition, which will come with the funds required to expand its business and pursue its long-term growth strategy, the company said in a release.

For the drug-delivery specialist, that strategy involves introducing products, like its patch for symptomatic dementia treatment, around the world. As Reuters notes, the company has transformed its business from a Central European pharma supplier into a diversified drug company, raking in €143 million ($193.4 million) in the first half of this year.

"We are committed to providing the resources needed to develop Acino into an international specialty pharmaceutical business with a significant presence in attractive markets and product lines," Dr. Håkan Björklund said in a statement. Björklund, a member of Avista, is slated to take over as Acino's chairman if the deal goes through. He served as CEO of Nycomed from 1999 to 2011 under the ownership of Nordic and currently sits on the board of Danish drugmaker Lundbeck. 

Avista and Nordic are among a growing group of private equity outfits that have been busy as of late. A couple of months ago, rumors swirled around TPG as it reportedly explored a sale of specialty drugmaker Aptalis Pharma. Just over a year ago, TPG found itself in the buyer's seat, sealing a deal for Par Pharmaceuticals for $1.9 billion. That transaction followed transactions from Cinven, which picked up Mercury Pharma, and BC Partners, which grabbed German company Aenova from fellow investment company Bridgepoint.

- here's the release from Acino (PDF)
- get more from Reuters
- see Bloomberg's take