Solvay sale isn't on the fast track

Anyone hoping for a quick deal for Solvay Pharmaceuticals? If so, simmer down. Reuters reports that shareholders are likely to have a long wait before any transaction is done, because both Solvay and its founding family have a slow-but-steady approach to selling off its pharma unit. But a sale will eventually happen, analysts told the news service. Eventually.

"The company is absolutely decided to not react in an overly hasty way," KBC analyst Wim Hoste told Reuters. Solvay had hired Citigroup to "evaluate strategic options," so at least on paper, it hasn't made a final choice to sell. Nevertheless, sources told the news service that Solvay has hired Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Rothschild to facilitate a sale and that it has distributed info on the potential deal to potential buyers.

You're also out of luck if you were looking for the pharma unit's sale to be a bargain. Analysts said that one factor likely to slow dealmaking is the fact that its largest shareholder Solvac--which holds the Solvay family's 30 percent stake--is looking for a marked premium. Most analysts estimate that the sale price would be between €5 billion and €6 billion, or about $6.7 billion to $8 billion.

- read the Reuters story