After making two sizable buys, Sanofi is moving ahead with a sale of its European generics business, according to multiple reports, and has narrowed down the field of potential buyers to drug companies from Brazil and India, plus several private equity funds, Reuters reports, citing sources.
Brazil's EMS and Torrent Pharma have advanced to the next round of the process, according to the news service, along with a PE team of Blackstone and Nordic Capital, plus rival private equity firms Carlyle, BC Partners and Advent. The interested buyers are performing due diligence, the publication reports.
A source told the news service the competition could push up the price for a unit that might fetch $2.4 billion. Sanofi wants to find a buyer by the end of the quarter, according to Reuters.
For Sanofi, talk of the sale comes right on the heels of its $11.6 billion Bioverativ buy and its $4.8 billion Ablynx acquisition. Last year, the company made unsuccessful runs at Actelion and Medivation, but lost out in those pursuits to Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, respectively.
Sanofi's European generics business operates in 50 countries and sells drugs in disease areas including cardiovascular, central nervous system, gastrointestinal and metabolic disorders and more.
The drugmaker started talking about a sale for its European generics business way back in 2015, shortly after CEO Olivier Brandicourt took the helm and moved to reshape the company. After putting two units on the block, Brandicourt first focused on offloading Sanofi's animal health unit Merial in a 2016 asset swap with Boehringer Ingelheim. In return, Sanofi picked up BI's consumer health assets.
According to a recent report from India's Economic Times, Aurobindo, Zydus Cadila, Torrent and Intas considered a buy for Sanofi's European generics outfit, along with a Chinese drugmaker and private equity companies.
EMS and Torrent Pharma didn't immediately respond to FiercePharma's request for comment on the report. Sanofi declined to comment.