German generics maker mulls $1.1B sale amid pharma's M&A frenzy: Reuters

It's been a banner year for pharma M&A, and German generics maker Dermapharm is wise to the trend. The company is planning a €1 billion ($1.1 billion) sale, attracting bids from private equity groups that are eager to hop on the dealmaking bandwagon.

Dermapharm CEO Wilhelm Beier has tapped advisory firm Ferber to find a buyer for the company and its treatments for skin disease and allergies, plus dietary supplements and suntan lotion. Private equity groups including Cinven, BC Partners, Nordic Capital, Advent and Carlyle have all put in preliminary bids that value the Gruenwald-based company at 12 to 13 times its annual earnings of €80 million before interest, taxes depreciation and amortization, people familiar with the deal told Reuters.

The clock is ticking on a deal, as bids for Dermapharm are due by the end of the year. But Dermapharm, Ferber and the private equity groups are staying mum on details for now, declining to comment to Reuters about a potential sale.

Private equity firms have been hot to trot after deals this year, especially in Europe. The U.K.'s Cinven in particular has been active on the dealmaking circuit, shelling out €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) in May for French diagnostics player Labco and snatching up German medical lab operator Synlab for €1.75 billion ($1.96 billion) a month later.

Cinven has also been doing some selling, handing over Amdipharm Mercury to Canada's Concordia Healthcare ($CXR) back in September in $3.5 billion deal. Ontario-based Concordia said that the deal would help it become a "leading international pharmaceutical company" as it leverages Amdipharm's international presence and diverse portfolio of more than 190 products to drive growth.

- read the Reuters story

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