Stada's first real bidder has put up a $3.7B offer. Will a bidding war follow?

Stada
Boston's Advent International has put up a legally binding bid for Stada.

When the week began, Stada had plenty of interested suitors hanging around, but it wasn’t sure any of them would turn up with a real offer. Now, the first has come in—and whether that offer will trigger a bidding war is anyone’s guess.

On Thursday, the German drugmaker announced that Boston private equity outfit Advent International had put up a legally binding bid of €58 per share in cash, plus a 2016 dividend payment; in 2015, that payment amounted to €0.70 per share, Stada noted.

Stada made clear that it's plenty interested in other offers, however. The company said its board will go over the proposal and continue its "open-minded talks with all interested parties to evaluate further value-enhancing potential, the value of strategic concepts, and to secure the interests of all stakeholders."

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Those other interested parties include Advent's fellow private equity firm Cinven, based in London, and one unnamed third player that entered the fray late last week. Bernstein analyst Ronny Gal has surmised that the mystery third bidder could be generics giant Mylan, which is looking to expand in Europe and could handle swallowing a $3.7 billion deal.

“We can't see a major reason why Mylan is not the third bidder,” he recently wrote to clients. 

Stada may well draw others into the picture, too. Last summer, when the company was said to be exploring a sale as part of a mission to fend off activist investors, it reportedly fielded interest from multiple private equity firms, including Luxembourg’s CVC Capital Partners.

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