Hikma says it might sell its injectables biz

There was lots of talk about who was eyeing the injectables business of Strides Arcolab before Mylan ($MYL) snatched the prize. And just in case some of those left behind are hanging their heads in disappointment, drugmaker Hikma Pharmaceuticals wants them to know it has an injectables business that it might be willing to part with.

Just a day after Mylan announced it was buying Agila Specialties for $1.6 billion, the Middle East company Hikma said it has received "unsolicited" offers for its business, Bloomberg reports. It says it must consider them and will do the right thing for investors. And what does Panmure Gordon & Co. analyst Savvas Neophytou suggest it is worth? Just short of $1.6 billion.

"We have received a number of unsolicited expressions of interest in our injectables business and will consider the best option for shareholders," CEO Said Darwazah said.

Given the interest that was reported in the Strides business from big Pharma players like Pfizer ($PFE) and Novartis ($NVS), there may be some companies still itching to expand in the injectables business. That niche of the industry is expected to have significant growth over the next several years. And Mylan's leap to the top tier of the sterile injectables players could spur other generic companies, putting Hikma in a strong negotiating position.

Hikma in 2010 paid Baxter International ($BAX) about $112 million for its sterile injectables business and has since expanded on it. It has been a bright light in Hikma's earnings as it has benefited from turmoil in the U.S. market where market leader Hospira ($HSP) has struggling for several years to fix plant problems that have interrupted production. In November Hikma said the unit was ahead of expectations, Bloomberg points out, and that full-year sales could reach about $460 million.

- read the Bloomberg story