Citi said to put Egypt's Amoun up for sale

Citigroup's venture capital arm apparently is looking to unload another emerging-markets drugmaker. This time it's Amoun, one of Egypt's biggest pharma companies, which Citi Venture Capital and two other investors bought for about $450 million in 2006. Sources tell Reuters that the partners are close to hiring Goldman Sachs to handle the sale.

The news that Amoun could be on the block comes less than 10 days after reports that Citigroup Venture Capital International--along with Partners in Life Sciences--were mulling a sale of Turkey's copycat drugmaker Biofarma. In both cases, sources told the news service that the companies could bring $1 billion.

Both companies are big players in their home markets, which happen to have made IMS Health's list of 17 "pharmerging" markets. Although neither Turkey nor Egypt is expected to deliver the kind of drug-sales growth that heavyweights like China and India will, they'll outstrip the U.S. and European markets, provided predictions hold true.

Last we heard, Pfizer was said to be kicking tires in Turkey, as it targets double-digit growth in the Mideast region. Meanwhile, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is said to be among possible buyers for Biofarma.

- see the Reuters report