Reuters: Bidders unlikely to meet Rottapharm's $2.7B price

The good news for Luigi Rovati, who is looking to sell Italy's Rottapharm, the drug company he founded: Several private equity firms are bidding. The bad: According to Reuters' sources, the offers aren't likely to match his $2.7 billion target price.

Among the second-round bidders are private equity firms Advent International, Carlyle Group, Charterhouse, Avista and Clessidra. Two or three bidders will be invited into a third round, sources are telling the news service. Rottapharm makes prescription drugs, including blood pressure and anticlotting meds, and some consumer healthcare products. It has about 2,000 employees worldwide, and sales last year amounted to about $853 million.

Among the factors that may be depressing the size of the bids is Rovati's desire to keep around 40% of the company, Reuters' sources said. That stipulation could be scaring off other drugmakers that might otherwise bid. Another possible--and obvious--deterrent is the current eurozone dust-up. Other deals have fallen apart or are on hold because of financing worries.

- read the Reuters story