Horizon said to explore stake sale as it scouts for M&A

Some specialty pharma companies have recently put the brakes on dealmaking--but Horizon Pharma, on the other hand, may be gearing up for more.

The Dublin drugmaker has brought on Bank of America to help it consider selling off a sizable equity stake to an investor--a move that would beef up its balance sheet, Reuters reports. The company is feeling out its options for financing, though, and there’s no guarantee a transaction will take place, the news service’s sources say.

While it’s unclear how exactly Horizon would use the money, a potential sale by company--whose debt pile measures close to $1.3 billion, according to Reuters--could put it in line for new buys.

“We are always pursuing potential transactions,” Horizon told FiercePharma in an emailed statement, though the company noted that “our preferred capital source is debt raised alongside an announced transaction. We have no plans to do any equity transactions to add capital to our balance sheet.”

Horizon has been active on the M&A front for a while now, and it’s made it clear that that’s not going to stop. Early this year, it closed a $510 million deal for Crealta, the owner of gout med Krystexxa; and last year, it spent months on a hostile pursuit of California’s Depomed, though it ultimately went home empty-handed.

Some of its once-deal-hungry specialty peers, though, are taking a break, despite the buyer-friendly valuations the industry’s been seeing for months. Valeant, for one--which, like Horizon, has been called out for hefty price hikes and given the cold shoulder by some payers--is looking instead to asset sales it says will help make its business less complex.

- get more from Reuters 

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