Private equity firms eye Pfizer's Capsugel unit

Pfizer's Capsugel unit is attracting buyout attention from several private equity firms, the New York Times reports. After the drugmaker announced last week that it might sell the packaging unit, groups such as Bain Capital and Blackstone Group started preparing initial bids, sources tell the paper.

Blackstone's interest is a natural; it already owns another drug capsule maker, Catalent Pharma Solutions. And as the NYT points out, Bain has done several medical-related deals in recent months. The potential sale of Capsugel is in its earliest phase, however, with bidders just now requesting more info about the unit, Bloomberg reports. Morgan Stanley is advising Pfizer on its options.

Drug capsules may not be the world's most exciting business, but as Miller Tabak analyst Les Funtleyder points out, Capsugel has been a consistent revenue generator, posting $740 million in sales last year. "Seven-hundred million dollar businesses don't grow on trees," Funtleyder tells Bloomberg.

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